WRAL has the story:
After an extensive study of energy exploration in North Carolina, state environmental officials said Friday that a controversial method of natural gas drilling can be done safely if regulations are put in place first.
Much of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ study focused on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The process involves horizontal drilling into underground deposits of shale and then pumping a mix of water and chemicals into a well to break apart the rock and release natural gas. …
DENR officials said they reviewed the experiences of other states and determined that a regulated drilling program could be accomplished safely in North Carolina. The agency’s draft report noted, however, that more information on groundwater resources is needed in areas where fracking could occur before final environmental standards are set.