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Maryland lawmakers approve fracking ban until late 2017

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ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — The Maryland General Assembly has passed a measure to prohibit fracking permits in the state until October 2017.

The House of Delegates voted 102-34 for the bill on Friday to stop the issuing of hydraulic fracturing drilling permits until that time.

The process known as fracking has not taken place in Maryland. There are portions of western Maryland that have been identified as potential drilling sites.

The bill now goes to Gov. Larry Hogan, who has not taken a position on the bill. The Republican governor has said he'll take a hard look at any fracking legislation that passes.

The measure passed the House and Senate by veto-proof margins.

Supporters of the prohibition say it will give lawmakers more time to evaluate the public health and economic dangers of fracking.

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