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Article updated: 11/14/2013 7:56 AM

'Fracking' at least a year off in Illinois

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois environmental officials say it will be at least a year until the start of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports new state regulations for the practice are nearly complete.

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That's according to Marc Miller, the director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

But Miller says it will take months before permits are issued. That's because the state still needs to hold public hearings and collect comments.

Miller told the newspaper no companies have registered to perform hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," since the state started sign-ups last month.

Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack underground rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

The governor signed legislation in July regulating fracking and creating a two-step application process.

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