Shale Energy Law Blog
Maryland recently enacted legislation, Senate Bill 854, which amends Title 14 (Oil and Gas) of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, and imposes reclamation and financial assurance requirements. The new legislation adds the requirement of site reclamation as a permit condition, and replaces the existing bonding requirement of $100,000 (single well) or $500,000 (blanket bond) with a minimum bond of $50,000 per well and not less than “the most recent closure cost estimate.” The legislation also requires a permittee to carry a minimum of $1 million in environmental liability insurance, in addition to the existing requirement to maintain general liability insurance. Under this legislation, the Maryland Department of the Environment may establish alternative means to demonstrate financial assurance. The new legislation does not apply to wells that existed on or before October 1, 2013, unless the well is substantially modified after that date.
Although Marcellus Shale is located in western Maryland, no Marcellus Shale well permits have been issued in Maryland. Earlier this year, efforts to ban hydraulic fracturing in Maryland failed in the legislature.