Plan would limit fracking near western Maryland lake

Associated Press

A management plan for the Deep Creek watershed seeks to limit hydraulic fracturing for natural gas near Maryland's largest freshwater lake.

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — A management plan for the Deep Creek watershed seeks to limit hydraulic fracturing for natural gas near Maryland's largest freshwater lake.

The plan prepared for presentation Tuesday to the Garrett County Commissioners would prohibit wellheads within more than 41,000 acres around Deep Creek Lake. The watershed comprises about 10 percent of the county.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling technique that includes both horizontal and vertical drilling. The plan wouldn't ban horizontal drilling beneath the watershed; it only seeks to prohibit drilling activity and gas collection on the surface.

The proposal is meant preserve the area's scenic beauty. Any prohibition would require action by the county commissioners.

A separate state commission is devising recommendations for safely allowing hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale underlying far western Maryland.

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