Md. Releases Proposed Revisions to Gas Drilling Plan

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The state of Maryland has released some proposed revisions to regulations for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

The Maryland Department of the Environment released them Wednesday, after an 18-month review of proposed regulations.

The department says the 2015 proposal “laid a solid foundation” for ensuring natural gas production in western Maryland can be done “in a manner that respects Maryland’s environment and people.”

The department has found four key areas where it is considering changes. Those relate to well construction and testing, comprehensive development plans, environmental assessments and monitoring, as well as setbacks and location restrictions.

The agency must adopt regulations by Oct. 1. No drilling would be permitted before Oct. 1, 2017.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses pressurized water, sand and chemicals to fracture underground shale and release gas.

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