ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A panel of state lawmakers will decide by next week whether to delay regulations on gas drilling in western Maryland.

The panel met Tuesday. While the panel can’t on its own stop the regulations proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration from taking effect, the panel could delay implementation into next year.

Lawmakers are expected to take up measures in the upcoming legislative session to ban the drilling process known as fracking or to extend a moratorium.

The earliest the state could grant a permit for drilling is October, unless lawmakers end up banning it altogether.

A 2014 study found that gas drilling could create as many as 3,600 jobs over 10 years in Garrett and Allegany counties. Opponents say risks to health from pollution are too great.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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