HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is announcing the scope of a planned study of public health effects of natural gas drilling in western Maryland.
The agency said Tuesday that the study will assess the possible impact of hydraulic fracturing on water and air quality, noise and public safety.
The study also will gather demographic information to help state regulators understand the health vulnerability of people in Garrett and western Allegany counties, where drilling would occur.
The agency says the study will not recommend for or against hydraulic fracturing. The drilling technique has raised environmental concerns in other states.
The study will be delivered this summer to a state commission that will advise regulators on safe drilling practices. The commission's final report is due in August.