The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has released its proposed natural gas hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as “fracking”) regulations. The regulations will govern exploration, production, and underground injection control related to fracking. Fracking is primarily a concern in Western Maryland along the Marcellus Shale deposit. There are several other shale deposits in Maryland where fracking could theoretically occur but existing economic and technological considerations make that unlikely.
According to MDE’s Marcellus Shale webpage:
On Monday, September 26, 2016, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE or “the Department”) submitted a regulatory action to the Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR) Committee. The purpose of the action is to update the regulations governing the exploration and production of oil and gas to address technologies that were not typically employed in Maryland when the existing regulations were adopted, including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The draft regulations will ensure that any exploration and production of oil and gas is conducted in a manner protective of public health, safety, the environment, and natural resources. Following AELR Committee review, the regulatory proposal will be published in the Maryland Register and be open for public comment for 30 days.
The website also lists these three resources:
- Draft Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Regulations
- Draft Underground Injection Control Regulations
- Draft Regulations Summary Document
The regulations are expected to appear in the November 14 edition of the Maryland Register.