hydraulic fracturing

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Scientists say they will begin monitoring seismic activity in western Maryland in preparation for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Maryland Geological Survey Director Richard Ortt tells The Baltimore Sun his agency plans to install a seismometer somewhere in Garrett or Allegany county by next June. A state moratorium on hydraulic fracturing ends in October 2017.

The device would measure underground rumblings like those attributed elsewhere to the disposal of wastewater from fracking.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles says his agency will gather more information and listen to citizens as it develops rules for fracking in the state.

Grumbles fielded questions at a public meeting Tuesday in Garrett County in far western Maryland, where most of the state's shale gas resources lie.

He told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he's committed to a transparent process and to good stewardship of the Deep Creek Lake watershed.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia advisory panel is recommending that energy companies disclose the chemical ingredients they use in horizontal fracking, a type of natural gas drilling that has spawned environmental concerns.

The proposal is among 14 recommendations that have been sent to Gov. Terry McAuliffe for review.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A bill establishing deadlines for the adoption and implementation of fracking regulations is making its way through the General Assembly.

Maryland Senators on Tuesday voted 45-2 in favor of a House version of the bill, which also stops the issuing of hydraulic fracturing drilling permits until October 2017.

The Senate approved its own version of the bill on Monday night, also in a 45-2 vote.

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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.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A bill to place a three-year moratorium on fracking in Maryland survived eight amendments and is headed to a vote in the House of Delegates.

On Monday, the Protect Our Health and Communities Act dodged attempts by House Republicans to change the legislation and make it easier for fracking to start in western Maryland. Currently there is no fracking in Maryland.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Attorney General's office is weighing in on a bill to hold fracking companies more responsible for personal injury and property damage.

Labeling the natural gas drilling technique as "ultrahazardous and abnormally dangerous" would impose strict liability on the drilling company, wrote Sandra Brantley, counsel to the General Assembly, in a letter sent Wednesday.

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OAKLAND, Md. (AP) - Real-estate brokers in far western Maryland are supporting a proposal in the Maryland General Assembly for an eight-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas pending further study.

The Garrett County Board of Realtors expressed concern Tuesday about the possible impact of fracking on public health. They say fears of health problems from well-water contamination can reduce home values by at least 20 percent.

Garrett County contains most of Maryland's share of the gas-rich Marcellus shale.

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FRIENDSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Frostburg State University students are recording public comments about prospects for natural gas drilling in western Maryland.

They're holding a "listening event" Tuesday in Friendsville as part of a project to document local opinions about the drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Fracking opponents came out in force Tuesday to speak their minds at a Senate hearing on legislation that would limit natural gas drilling in Maryland.

After more than five hours of testimony on unrelated legislation, by 6:30 p.m. the Senate committee had only just begun hearing testimony on the two drilling bills one that would place an eight-year moratorium on fracking and another to prohibit the practice.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Opponents of the natural gas drilling method known as fracking are rallying in Annapolis ahead of a hearing on prohibiting the practice in Maryland.

A rally planned for Tuesday is being led by Don't Frack Maryland, a campaign of environmental activists and businesses in western Maryland, where fracking is being considered.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process by which highly pressurized water, chemicals and sand are pumped into the ground, shaking loose rocks and releasing gas.

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CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - A state panel charged with recommending safe practices for shale gas recovery in western Maryland is nearing the end of its work.

Tuesday's meeting in Cumberland includes a discussion about the final report, expected by year-end.

It's the panel's first meeting since Republican Larry Hogan was elected governor. Hogan has said he favors hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique that forces water and chemicals deep underground to crack the shale and release natural gas.

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OAKLAND, Md. (AP) - Garrett County residents are getting a chance to hear about the potential public health risks of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in their region.

The local health department is hosting a presentation Thursday night on a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

The study was first presented last month to a state commission that will recommend rules for safe drilling in Maryland's portion of the Marcellus shale formation.

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FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) - University of Maryland researchers say there's a high likelihood that shale gas production in far western Maryland would negatively affect air quality in the region.

The report released Monday also found a high likelihood of negative impacts on occupational health and local medical systems due to surging employment in an industry with relatively high risks for respiratory ailments and truck accidents.

The report says there's a moderately high risk that water pollution from hydraulic fracturing would have public health consequences.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - More than two dozen activists have been arrested following a protest against plans to build a facility in Maryland to liquefy and export natural gas.

The protesters oppose the plans by Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Resources to build the plant in Lusby, Maryland. They fear the plant will prove a boon to drillers who are using relatively new technology, commonly called fracking, to extract vast quantities of previously inaccessible fuel.

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FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) - A state panel developing recommendations for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in western Maryland is making progress toward a final report this fall.

The agenda for Friday's meeting in Frostburg includes a discussion of loose ends to be tied up before the panel completes its work.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Fracking opponents have introduced of a bill calling for a state moratorium on the natural gas drilling technique until studies are completed on its impact.

Delegate Heather Mizeur introduced a House bill on Thursday. Mizeur says it calls for an 18-month moratorium to protect against immediate pressure to drill once the first round of studies on the issue is completed.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Fracking opponents plan to be in Annapolis for the introduction of a bill calling for a state moratorium on the natural gas drilling technique until studies are completed on its impact.

Delegate Heather Mizeur plans to introduce the bill on Thursday. Opponents of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing plan to join her at a news conference.