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O'Malley's outgoing administration to propose Md. fracking regulations in December


CUMBERLAND, Maryland — The administration of outgoing Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley says it will propose regulations next month for safely extracting natural gas by hydraulic fracturing of a shale formation in western Maryland.

Department of Natural Resources policy director Christine Conn presented a draft of the rules Tuesday at a meeting in Cumberland of the commission that developed them.

She says that if the administration of incoming Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan follows and enforces the recommendations, the risks of shale gas development "can be managed to an acceptable level."

Hogan takes office in January. He said before the November election he would be ready to move forward with the commission's recommendations.

The panel's chairman, Towson University geologist David Vanko says current state regulations aren't strong enough to protect the public and environment.

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