State leaders are meeting with residents to discuss regulations for a controversial method of harvesting natural gas.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation held a public meeting Tuesday afternoon to get input on regulating hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "hydro fracking."
The fracking process uses highly pressurized fluid to create new channels in rock in order to harvest natural gas or oil.
In Tennessee, it's used in natural gas wells along the plateau.
TDEC says the way fracking is handled in Tennessee is different from practices in other parts of the country. Fracking usually involves high volumes of water, but drills here use nitrogen or smaller amounts of water.
Some residents expressed concerns about current regulations, while others voiced support for them.
"The state has decided that unless the fracking event is greater than 200,000 gallons, it will not be publicly noticed, so if a well operator says 'I'm going to frack a well 199,000 gallons,' the public may never know about it," said Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.
"Normally fracturing is done a couple of miles below the surface of the Earth, far below the groundwater. And if properly cased and properly drilled, there is very little if any chance of any kind of contamination of groundwater," said Mike Williams, executive director of the Tennessee Petroleum Council.
The EPA is reviewing the practice of hydraulic fracking and the TDEC plans to use the results of those studies to see if rules need to be changed here.