TU dean named chair of Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission
Select group of state leaders will study use of hydraulic fracturing in Western Maryland
TOWSON, Md. (July 28, 2011)—Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has named David Vanko chair of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission. Vanko is dean of Towson's Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, and has a doctoral degree in geology.
He and fellow members of the commission will recommend the conditions under which the gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," should be permitted within the Marcellus Formation, an organic-rich black shale in Western Maryland.
“I’m very excited to be named to the Advisory Commission,” says Vanko. “Our group reflects a wide spectrum of stakeholders, and we will be dealing with some very thorny issues. I am confident, though, that we’ll be able to agree on a comprehensive set of recommendations that is good for Maryland—recommendations that promote economic development, preserve and protect the environment, and help shrink Maryland’s carbon footprint.”
Members of the commission include:
Shawn Bender, president, Garrett County Farm Bureau
Steven Bunker, director of conservation programs, Nature Conservancy Maryland Office
Sen. George Edwards
John Fritz, president, Savage River Watershed Association
Peggy Jamison, mayor of Oakland, Md.
Jeffrey Kupfer, senior adviser, Chevron Government Affairs
Delegate Heather Mizeur
Dominick Murray, deputy secretary, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development
James Raley, commissioner, Garrett County
Paul Roberts, co-owner, Deep Creek Cellars and Winery
William Valentine, commissioner, Allegany County
Nick Weber, chair, Mid-Atlantic Council of Trout Unlimited
Harry Weiss, partner, Ballard Spahr
The commission must submit the first of three required reports on the practice of fracking by the end of the year. Their first meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4 at the Lakeside Visitors Center at Rocky Gap State Park.