Rural Counties to Have Input on Governor’s Panel to Study Safe Drilling

Allegany County Commissioner William Valentine and State Senator George Edwards have been named to the panel reports the Cumberland-Times News.

It’s important for Allegany County to have input in the decision-making process, Valentine states.

In early June, commissioners signed off on a letter to the governor asking him to appoint Allegany County Commissioners to the panel. O’Malley, in an Executive Order , said the committee would include members of local governments in Western Maryland, and would include a study of risks and benefits of drilling.

“Natural resources built this county,” Commission President Michael McKay has said.

Under the Executive Order, the study will be conducted in three parts:

  • A presentation of findings and related recommendations regarding the desirability of legislation to establish revenue sources, such as a State-level severance tax, and the desirability of legislation to establish standards of liability for damages caused by gas exploration and production.  These findings and recommendations will be made by December 31, 2011.
  • Recommendations for best practices for all aspects of natural gas exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale in Maryland by August 1, 2012.
  • A final report which will include findings and recommendations relating to the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling including possible contamination of groundwater, handling and disposal of wastewater, environmental impacts, impacts to forests and important habitats, greenhouse gas emissions and economic impact.  This report will be issued no later than August 1, 2014.

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