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Report takes aim at fracking on US forestland

Tuesday - 10/8/2013, 12:10pm  ET

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Opponents of opening the George Washington National Forest to fracking for natural gas have released a report that they say proves the drilling practice would be harmful to the largest federal forest on the East Coast.

Environment Virginia issued the report Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Forest Service's release this fall of a management plan for the 1.1-million-acre forest.

Called "Fracking by the Numbers," the study looks at the impact of fracking on a national basis. It concludes that more than 360,000 U.S. acres have been damaged by fracking since 2005.

The science on the drilling practice has not been conclusive.

The Forest Service expects to release a management plan next month. The forest is primarily located in Virginia but also overlaps the state line into West Virginia.

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