BLM fracking forums coming to Colo., Arkansas, ND

DENVER (AP) - The Bureau of Land Management plans to hold regional forums on hydraulic fracturing, including one scheduled for Little Rock. BLM Director Bob Abbey announced Friday the forums will discuss the use of fracturing techniques on federally owned lands. They'll provide a more technical view of mineral development on public lands.

Officials say the forums are designed to invite public comment on fracking, in which water, sand and chemical additives are blasted into rock to release natural gas. Industry and environmental experts will be on hand to answer questions. Other topics of discussion include fracturing-fluid recipes, well construction and wastewater management.

Fracking is widespread in Arkansas' Fayetteville Shale and some residents claim the practice has created small earthquakes. Geologists are investigating to determine if there's any link. Parts of the state sit on an ancient fault line.

The forums are scheduled for late April, but officials say no definite dates and locations have been set.

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