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Panel of Maryland lawmakers to discuss gas drilling

Posted at 7:42 AM, Dec 20, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A panel of Maryland lawmakers is set to discuss proposed regulations for gas drilling in western Maryland.

The regulations proposed by the Maryland Department of the Environment will be taken up by the legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review.

Last month, environmental regulators opened a 30-day window for public comment on proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations that could be adopted by the end of this year. That would enable the state to permit drilling next October, unless the General Assembly intervenes.

A 2014 Towson University study commissioned by the state found that gas drilling could create as many as 3,600 jobs over 10 years in Garrett and Allegany counties. But opponents say the risks to public health from air and water pollution are too great.

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