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Leasing Your Land for Natural Gas Drilling -
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Dormant Minerals Interest Act - Questions and Answers

Attorney General's Comments to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission: Don't Relax Rules on “Fracking” Operations - 08.23.11


Attorney General's Office Environmental Crimes Unit

Bay Journal

Chesapeake Bay News

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Critical Areas - Information and Reporting Violations

Chesapeake Ecocheck Bay Report Card

DNR "Eyes on the Bay"

EPA Chesapeake Bay Program

Find Your Riverkeeper

Maryland BayStat

NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office

Report an Environmental Incident to MDE


Erin Fitzsimmons (click to email)
Special Assistant to the Attorney General, Environment  410-576-7299

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Attorney General Gansler Marks Earth Day with Release of 2013 Chesapeake Bay Environmental Audit
Pollution and policy issues identified to help design strategies
for a cleaner state


Baltimore, MD  (April 22, 2014) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is marking Earth Day 2014 with the release of his 2013 Chesapeake Bay Environmental Audit. The Attorney General’s sixth annual report details the 2013 audits of the Liberty and Prettyboy reservoirs in Baltimore and Carroll counties, the Wicomico River in Wicomico and Somerset counties and Antietam Creek in Washington County. During these audits, the Attorney General met with residents, environmental activists and local leaders who live and work in these communities to hear from those who know, use and appreciate Maryland’s diverse water resources. Full Press Release here.



map of the Marcellus ShaleAttorney General Douglas F. Gansler Warns Landowners: Before Signing a Mineral Rights Lease, Check Your Mortgage

Your bank/mortgage lender may need to approve the lease. Latest twist in Marcellus Shale gas leases could put homes and farms at risk

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is warning landowners that signing a mineral rights lease could conflict with some requirements of their federally-approved home or farm mortgage. To ensure their homes and farms remain safe from legal entanglements, landowners should always check with their bank or mortgage lender before entering into a mineral rights lease. 

“Marylanders need to protect themselves from unintentionally putting their homes and farms at risk,” said Attorney General Gansler. “If a mineral rights lease is on the table, take it to your bank or mortgage lender first and have them sign off on it.”

Landowners in Western Maryland, whose properties sit above the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation, may be particularly vulnerable. High-pressure sales tactics and a lack of knowledge may lead a landowner to neglect checking with their mortgage lender to make sure a mineral rights lease does not conflict with their mortgage. Over 90 percent of all mortgages in the United States are federally backed by government or government-sponsored entities such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Veteran's Affairs(VA), the Rural Housing Service or Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). (Full Press Release Here.)


OAG Environmental Audits

Attorney General  Gansler hears from a local environmental leader on the Pokemoke river auditEach year, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler visits four of the Bay's tributaries, meeting with citizens, environmental leaders and elected officials to learn about the specific problems in each individual watershed, as well as pollution issues common throughout the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed.

In each watershed, the Attorney General spends a full day meeting with local elected officials, environmental leaders, students and citizens. He travels by boat and walks the shores of the waterways to learn about the watersheds, their problems and ongoing restoration efforts, and also to identify unique sources of pollution. River-by-river, the Attorney General's focus is on gathering information from those most intimately familiar with the rivers in order to develop solutions and enhance enforcement of environmental laws that serve to protect the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. The Attorney General's ultimate goal is to improve the health of the Bay.

Attorney General  Gansler listens to breifing at the West/Rhode river audit“Communities and local activists know where problems exist, and the residents can offer practical and innovative solutions to improve the health of the Bay and its tributaries,” said Attorney General Gansler. “This approach is central to our audits and these environmental visits allow my office to establish meaningful relationships with watershed communities and provide critical information to help us identify and target individuals and corporations that pollute, as well as to determine where legislation is needed.”

Attorney General  Gansler Visits the Conowingo dam power plantEach year, Attorney General Gansler will continue to visit four of the Bay's tributaries to conduct similar audits and open lines of communication that will continue long after the day spent at each river as new issues and problems arise. These ongoing relationships will provide eyes and ears to help identify environmental problems and solutions, and what has been learned will inform future audits and enhance their effectiveness.



Copies of the Attorney General's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Environmental Audits can be found at:

Attorney General  Gansler Visits a stream resoration project  on his Monocacy River Audit.


Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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