New rules are on the table to regulate a controversial method for drilling natural gas in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation held hearings Tuesday on new drilling regulations in Knoxville.
The focus was on what's commonly called fracking, which is a drilling method that injects water into the ground to release natural gas.
The technique is already used at some wells on the Cumberland Plateau, but some believe the regulations aren't very strict for small operations.
Companies only have to inform the public of fracking if they plan to use more than 200,000 gallons of water in a well.
Opponents of the practice say the fracking process can damage the groundwater and surrounding environment and without rules, there's no way to tell how much damage has been done.
TDEC said it is open to changing the rules based on EPA studies of the practice.
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