- Associated Press - Friday, December 30, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A panel of state lawmakers is delaying regulations for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in western Maryland.

The Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee asked the Department of the Environment on Thursday to delay adopting the regulations. Final adoption would have occurred Friday.

The panel’s letter says it wants to study the regulations further. The committee requested copies of public comments on the proposed rules.

Agency spokesman Jay Apperson says the department will provide the material.

The committee’s action delays adoption of the rules at least into the legislative session, which begins Jan. 11. Lawmakers are expected to consider banning the technique, also known as fracking, or extending a moratorium currently set to expire in October.

Proponents say fracking will create jobs. Opponents say the pollution risks are too great.

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