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Study makes recommendations on Marcellus Shale

ANNAPOLIS — A Maryland panel is recommending the General Assembly impose a fee on gas leases in the Marcellus Shale to fund studies about the impact of drilling in far western Maryland.

The report, which was made public on Monday, also says lawmakers should enact an appropriate state-level severance tax. The panel recommends that revenue from the tax go into a Shale Gas Impact Fund to be used for continuing regional monitoring. The fund also would be used to address the impact of gas exploration and production that cannot be attributed to a specific operator.

The panel also is recommending that lawmakers enact a comprehensive Surface Owners Protection Act.