Maryland Risk Assessment for Shale Drilling Finds Little Risk

The Maryland Dept. of the Environment and the Dept. of Natural Resources–the two state agencies charged with researching and evaluating whether or not hydraulic fracturing in shale and tight formations in Maryland should be allowed–turned in an important report on Friday. The report is part of a years-long evaluation process that is, hopefully, nearing an end. We always made fun of Maryland as being “more dysfunctional than New York” when it comes to fracking. Guess what? New York is even more dysfunctional than Maryland! It’s now looking like Maryland may actually begin to frack before New York. The 241-page report released Friday is titled “Assessment of risks from unconventional gas well development in the Marcellus Shale of Western Maryland” (full copy below). In it the two departments break down the drilling process from beginning to end and assess risks, to people and the environment, at each stage of the process. The short version, which won’t make anti-drillers happy, is that shale drilling can be done safely–with minimal risks…

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