A bill before the Georgia Senate would regulate fracking in the state.
Chuck Mueller, director of cross media programs with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, said local officials from eight counties in northwest Georgia asked for the bill. Northwest Georgia happens to have the only land in the state suitable for fracking.
The term is slang for fracturing, which is a high-pressure technique of drilling a liquid mixture into the earth to extract oil or natural gas.
"There has been some interest expressed in doing some exploration. Nobody has come forward to propose doing any fracturing, they just want to see if the oil field or gas field is productive enough to pursue it," Mueller said.
As these explorations happen, the bill, known as SB 205, would ensure the protection of water systems around the fracking area. Mueller said even though fracking has never taken place in Georgia, the bill would set up regulations for the future.
"It's more for in case they get to a point where they actually find that there's enough oil to pursue it. This is just a method to ensure that our rules are updated," Mueller said.
State. Rep. John Meadows (R-Calhoun) sponsored the bill in the House, where it passed overwhelmingly last month. Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) is the chief sponsor in the Senate.