- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Senate environmental committee is supporting watered down legislation aimed at limiting fracking in Maryland.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, committee members voted in favor of an amended proposal to adopt and implement hydraulic fracturing regulations no earlier than October 2017.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo of Montgomery County, was originally proposed as an eight-year moratorium with direction to study the impacts of fracking on public health and the environment.

Fracking is a drilling process by which highly pressurized water, chemicals and sand are pumped into the ground, shaking loose rocks and releasing gas. Currently, no fracking occurs in Maryland.

The General Assembly is considering several fracking bills, including one that would hold fracking companies strictly liable for injuries to people and property.

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