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Western Md. natural gas drilling subject of report

The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources, in a draft report describing best practices for drilling and production of natural gas in the Marcellus share region of Western Maryland, are recommending that comprehensive planning be required for shale gas development before any drilling permits are issued.

The report was issued in consultation with an advisory commission appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley that is studying the consequences of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of drilling for natural gas.

The draft report is posted on MDE’s website. The departments will hold an informational meeting on the report at 7 p.m. on July 9 in the Garrett College auditorium.