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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A House committee will be hearing about legislation relating to drilling of the Marcellus Shale in western Maryland.

The House Environmental Matters Committee will hold hearings on Wednesday.

A measure sponsored by Delegate Wendell Beitzel, R-Garrett, would require regulations to be sent to a legislative panel by the end of the year relating to natural gas exploration and production. The Marcellus Shale is a mineral-rich geological formation that extends from New York to Virginia.

Delegate Heather Mizeur, D-Montgomery, is sponsoring separate legislation that would require drilling companies to demonstrate that wetlands, forests, critical habitats and existing communities would not be put at risk before wells are built and operated.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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