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NC Fracking Panel Sets Drilling Gap From Homes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A state panel recommending rules for natural gas drilling in North Carolina says wells shouldn't be at least 650 feet from buildings, homes and water wells.


The News & Observer of Raleigh reports ( http://bit.ly/1ftmCQI ) the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission voted 10-1 on safe drilling distances. A retired energy industry geologist on the panel said Friday the standard is too strict and should be 500 feet.


New York requires a safety buffer of 2,000 feet. Pennsylvania and Colorado require 1,000-foot setbacks from buildings or waterways.


The General Assembly has final say over the fracking rules.


Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting an underground well with chemicals, water and sand at high pressure to crack shale rock and release natural gas. Environmentalists say it carries risks to water supplies and other hazards.


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