An environmental group is stepping up efforts to impose a moratorium on a natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

A legislative committee approved in November a bill that would place a 10-year moratorium on fracking, which involves blasting chemical-laden water deep into the ground. The measure has yet to come up for a vote before the full Legislature.

The group Environment Massachusetts said on Wednesday it delivered letters signed by hundreds of health professionals in support of the Massachusetts moratorium, as well a national effort to ban fracking. Activists say the practice can lead to pollution and damaged rural landscapes.

Supporters of the technique say it's a safe method for extracting natural shale gas that would otherwise remain trapped underground, and can help lower energy prices.

(Associated Press)

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