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State OKs UT fracking plan

Megan Boehnke • Mar 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

NASHVILLE — The University of Tennessee received state approval Friday to move forward with its plan to drill oil and gas wells for hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — on university land in Morgan and Scott counties.

The four-member executive subcommittee of the State Building Commission voted unanimously after three hours of testimony from UT officials, environmental activists and industry personnel.

The move cleared the way for documents, called a request for proposals, or RFP, that allow UT to begin soliciting bids from oil and gas companies interested in leasing land in the more than 8,000 acres UT owns in its Cumberland Research Forest.