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Obama administration announces new fracking rule

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations within 30 days of completing operations.

A final rule released Friday by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also updates requirements for well construction and disposal of water and other fluids used in fracking, a drilling method that has prompted an ongoing boom in natural gas production.

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The rule, which takes effect in June, has been under consideration for more than three years, drawing criticism from the oil and gas industry and environmental groups. By the time the new standard was released Friday, it had collected 1.5 million public comments, according to the Interior Department. The industry fears the regulation could hinder the drilling boom. The environmental groups worry that it will allow unsafe drilling techniques to pollute groundwater.

The rule relies on the online database FracFocus - used by at least 16 states - to track the chemicals used in fracking operations.

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