Maryland shale gas drilling panel closing in on final report

Associated Press

Maryland shale gas drilling panel closing in on final report

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.

Maryland currently doesn't allow the practice for extracting gas from shale underlying much of Garrett and Allegany counties.

A draft report released last month by state environmental regulators said there is a moderate probability that a casing or cement failure in a gas well could cause methane contamination of private drinking-water wells up to 2,000 feet away.

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