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Statewide fracking ban one step closer to becoming law

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Posted at 6:29 AM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 06:29:45-04

   ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers have voted to ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas, a process better known as fracking.

The Senate voted 35-10 Monday night for the measure that already has been approved by the House. That sends the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan, who supports the ban.

Fracking opponents cite health and environmental concerns. Supporters say fracking could create jobs. A 2014 Towson University study found it could create 3,600 jobs over 10 years.

Fracking isn't being done in Maryland now, but a moratorium on issuing permits ends in October.

A portion of the western side of the state sits atop the Marcellus Shale, which runs underground from New York to Tennessee. Neighboring West Virginia and Pennsylvania allow fracking, while New York and Vermont have banned it.