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Rules for fracking on federal lands issued

Staff and wire reports

The Obama administration said Friday it is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations, a drilling technique that has sparked an ongoing boom in natural gas production across the country.

A rule to take effect in June also updates requirements for well construction and disposal of water and other fluids used in fracking, as the drilling method is more commonly known.

The rule has been under consideration for more than three years, drawing criticism from the oil and gas industry and environmental groups alike. The industry fears federal regulation could duplicate efforts by states and hinder the drilling boom, while some environmental groups worry that lenient rules could allow unsafe drilling techniques to pollute groundwater.

There are no fracking wells on federal lands in Mississippi, according to Howard Leach, general counsel for the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board.

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