Maryland sets public meetings on gas drilling rules

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Maryland Department of the Environment says it will hold three public meetings this month to discuss proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the state.

The agency said in a statement Thursday evening that the first meeting will be held June 22 in Cumberland. Subsequent meetings are scheduled June 27 in Baltimore and June 29 in McHenry.

The agency is required by law to adopt regulations by Oct. 1, but no drilling would be permitted before Oct. 1, 2017.

The department says it’s considering revisions to regulations it proposed in 2015. The proposed revisions will be described in documents the department says it will release before the June 22 meeting.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses pressurized water, sand and chemicals to fracture underground shale and release gas.

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