Ill. passes nation's toughest fracking regulations

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers have approved the nation's strictest regulations on high-volume oil and gas drilling, sending the measure to Gov. Pat Quinn.

The Senate passed the bill 52-3 on Friday.

Quinn has said he'll sign the bill, which establishes rules oil and gas companies must follow during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The method uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack underground rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

The measure requires companies to disclose chemicals and to test water before and after drilling. It also holds them liable for contamination.

Supporters say fracking would create thousands of jobs in southern Illinois. Opponents worry it would cause pollution and deplete water resources. They're pushing for a moratorium.

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