Marcellus Shale Hydraulic Fracturing

HB 449/SB 409 Protect Our Health and Communities Act (RSC 3) the first bill to address the issue of hydraulic fracturing in Maryland, passed the House and the Senate in the 2015 session.  The bill was amended a number of times in EHEA and ET, eliminating a requirement for a study of public health and environmental impacts, and shortening the length of the moratorium period.  The bill that passed requires MDE to adopt regulations to cover hydraulic fracturing for exploration or production of natural gas by October 1, 2016.  The regulations cannot take effect until October 1, 2017 and a permit to drill a well using hydraulic fracturing cannot be issued until October 1, 2017. The League advocated for the original bill and submitted written testimony in support of the bill described in RSC 3, prior to amendments.

The following bills died in committee:

SB 29 Environment – Hydraulic Fracturing – Prohibitions (RSC 1)

HB 883/SB 438 Environment – Well Drilling – Notice to Municipalities (RSC 3)

SB 458 Civil Actions – Hydraulic Fracturing Liability Act (RSC 3)

HB 458 Environment – Exploration and Production Waste and Waste From Hydraulic Fracturing  (RSC 3)

HB 952 Public Health – Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals – Information and Fund  (RSC 3)

SB 712 Natural Gas Severance Tax and Impact Account (RSC 3)

Betsy Singer