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Deep Creek Lake Maryland
Deep Creek Lake. Photo: Jon Dawson via Flickr (CC).

County restricts gas drilling in Deep Creek Lake watershed

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — The Garrett County Commissioners have adopted a watershed management plan that limits natural-gas drilling on nearly 41,000 acres around Deep Creek Lake, a popular vacation destination in western Maryland.

The three-member board voted unanimously Monday to adopt the plan.

It prohibits natural gas wellheads within the watershed but allows companies to drill horizontally from wellheads located outside the watershed boundaries.

Parts of the watershed overlie the gas-rich Marcellus shale rock formation. State environmental regulators are developing rules for allowing companies to drill for gas as early as next year, using a horizontal technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The plan also calls for a study of lake levels, partly to address a desire by whitewater enthusiasts for a more stable flow of water from the lake into the Youghiogheny River.

In related news, Board mulls gas drilling restrictions near Deep Creek Lake.

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