Public comment period starts for proposed Md. fracking rules, but will Hogan impose them?

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HAGERSTOWN, Maryland — The Maryland Department of the Environment has opened a 30-day public comment period on proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in western Maryland.

It remains to be seen whether the incoming administration of Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan will implement the rules published in Friday's Maryland Register.

They include a first-in-the-nation requirement that permit applicants produce a five-year "comprehensive gas development plan" covering all their anticipated wells.

Other proposed rules would strictly limit methane emissions from wells.

Hogan has said he wants to allow drilling in an environmentally sensitive way. He has promised quick action on matter after he takes office Jan. 21.

The public comment period ends Feb. 9. No public hearings have been scheduled.

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