ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Fracking opponents in Maryland have introduced of a bill calling for a state moratorium on the natural gas drilling technique until studies are completed on its impact.
Delegate Heather Mizeur introduced a House bill on Thursday. Mizeur says it calls for an 18-month moratorium to protect against immediate pressure to drill once the first round of studies on the issue is completed.
Gov. Martin O'Malley issued an executive order in 2011 creating a commission to study the impact of fracking, but critics have said funding had not been provided. Last month, O'Malley proposed $1.5 million for stream sampling, economic analysis and a public health review.
Fracking uses water and chemicals to break up shale formations. Critics say it can pollute groundwater. Supporters say it can be an economic boon to rural areas.