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Illinois environmental officials say it will be at least a year before the process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is conducted in the state.

The Springfield State Journal reports the new state regulations for the practice are nearly complete.  

Marc Miller, the director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says it will take months before permits are issued.  That's because the state still needs to hold public hearings.  

Miller says no companies have registered to conduct fracking since the state started sign-ups last month.  

Fracking uses a high-pressure mixture of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack underground rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

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