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DEQ plans public meetings to discuss 'fracking'

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 27, 2013 at 3:01 am •  Published: April 27, 2013

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Two state agencies will host public meetings to deal with what they say are widespread misconceptions about oil and gas development.

The Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources will conduct the meetings Tuesday in Troy, Wednesday in Muskegon and Thursday in Traverse City.

DEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel says the agency has been flooded with questions and concerns, especially about the process known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." It involves pumping high volumes of water, sand and chemicals underground to fracture rock and release natural gas.

Wurfel says the process has been used in Michigan for decades without hurting the environment.

But critics say it's getting riskier as the industry targets much deeper gas deposits that will require using more water.