The Maryland General Assembly recently put a two and a half-year temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas extraction in response to public concerns on the environment and public health.
The Maryland General Assembly enacted the new Senate Bill No. 0409 prohibiting hydraulic fracturing on May 29th, 2015. The new bill requires the Maryland’s Department of the Environment to adopt regulations to provide for the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells in the State on or before October 1, 2016. It also prohibits the Department from granting fracking permits until October 1, 2017, and regulations for hydraulic fracturing to be adopted by the Department will not be effective until the same date.
Prior regulations for fracking were drafted under former Governor Martin O’Malley’s governance. Introduced one month before Governor O’Malley’s term ended, these regulations are still pending for approval.
In accordance to Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution, “[a]ny bill presented to the Governor within six days (Sundays excepted), prior to adjournment of any session of the General Assembly, or after such adjournment, shall become law without the Governor’s signature unless it is vetoed by the Governor within 30 days after its presentment”. It has been reported that Governor Logan declared that he neither would allow it nor would veto it.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow