The Department of the Environment has the authority to enact regulations pertaining to oil and gas production, but it cannot prorate or limit the output of any gas or oil well. A permit from the Department is required prior to the drilling of a well for exploration, production, or underground storage of oil or gas. An environmental assessment must be submitted along with the permit application, and the Department may deny permits that propose drilling which may pose a substantial threat to public safety or significant adverse environmental impacts. Legislation encourages the development of oil and gas resources in Maryland, and contains provisions to mitigate environmental impacts from oil and gas production. This legislation contains additional information on permitting, well drilling and siting, fees, the use of explosives, gas metering, and coalbed methane production. Drilling for oil or gas is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay, any of its tributaries, or the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area.