ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland state Senators are supporting a bill that would put a two year stop to any fracking in the state.
Senators on Monday voted 45-2 in favor of the bill, which sets adoption and implementation deadlines for hydraulic fracturing regulations, and prevents drilling permits from being issued until October 2017.
The bill originally proposed an eight-year moratorium on the controversial drilling method so that impacts to public health and the environment could be studied.
Sen. George Edwards, a western Maryland Republican who has voiced concern about being too strict on the drilling practice, called the bill a good step.
A separate bill that would hold fracking companies more responsible for injuries to residents and their property received Senate support last month, and is being considered in the House.
New Opposition Ads
In films, he's played poker with Matt Damon and fought with Brad Pitt. Now actor Edward Norton is lending his voice to the anti-fracking campaign in Maryland.
A radio ad released by the Don't Frack Maryland campaign is running Tuesday featuring the "Fight Club" actor, who grew up in Columbia, Maryland. In the ad, he urges listeners not to let Gov. Larry Hogan ignore health and environmental risks caused by the drilling method.
Hydraulic fracturing is a natural gas drilling method in which water, chemicals and sand are pumped underground, which then releases gas.
Hogan says he'll take a hard look at any legislation that passes.
One measure before Maryland lawmakers puts more responsibility on companies for damages to people and property. Another would place a 2-year moratorium on fracking.