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30 May 2015 | by Gabor Chodkowski-Gyurics

Maryland institutes a moratorium on fracking

Maryland institutes a moratorium on fracking
A Maryland bill instituting a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Mid-Atlantic US state became law on May 30 without state governor Larry Hogan’s signature, who chose to neither veto nor sign it. The legislation, also know as the Protect Our Health and Communities Act, will require Maryland’s Department of the Environment to adopt fracking regulations by October 2016, effectively prohibiting the department from issuing fracking permits until October 2017, when these regulations could take place.

The bill was approved with 103 votes to 33 in the House of Delegates and 45 to 2 in the Senate, that is majority able to override eventual veto, leading the pro-shale governor to refuse signing of the document, allowing it to pass by default. The original version of the document called for an eight-year moratorium, but was eventually amended by the state Senate. The bill will become effective in October.

Two counties in Maryland - Garrett and Allegany - overlie the Marcellus Shale, which could contain as much as 2.383 Tcf of technically recoverable natural gas, according to the US Geological Survey.


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