Md. gas drilling panel’s work delayed again

HAGERSTOWN — A state panel is taking extra time to draft a report on the best practices for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

The Maryland Department of the Environment said Monday that the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission expects to put the draft report out for public comment sometime this spring instead of by Dec. 31.

An MDE spokesman says the commission still aims to issue its final report on best practices by Aug. 1.

The panel’s conclusive report on the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing is due a year later, on Aug. 1, 2014.

The panel is studying the impact of gas drilling in western Maryland. The region sits atop part of the Marcellus shale, a vast geological formation that also underlies parts of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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