Thursday 27 April 2017

Fracking (19)

Historic Bill Will Protect Our Clean Water Resources Annapolis, MD - Today the Maryland Senate passed a statewide fracking ban bill, HB 1325, by a vote of 36 to 10. Maryland would be the third state to ban fracking, but the first state with gas reserves to pass a ban through the legislature. The passage of this bill comes on the heels of a massive statewide and people-powered campaign involving thousands of Marylanders in rallies, marches, petition deliveries, and phone calls to legislators. The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Hogan, who is expected to sign it after he announced his support for the ban earlier this month. “Waterkeepers across the region applaud the vote today in the Maryland Senate to ban fracking statewide,” said Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director, Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “This vote was the result of an incredible grassroots movement across Maryland, and especially in Western Maryland, that demanded the legislature protect their families, livelihoods, and clean water and air from the irreversible damage caused by fracking.” “I’m elated that the Maryland legislature agreed that mounting evidence demonstrates that the fracking industry has a sorry history of noncompliance and violations of environmental regulations and permits, and determined the only way to safeguard our waterways and drinking water supplies is to not allow fracking to start in Maryland,” said Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper. “As a member of the Don’t Frack Maryland steering committee and a home owner in Garrett County, I have witnessed first-hand the power of…
Blog posted by Waterkeeper Alliance, February 27, 2017, written by Katlyn Clark of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. For the past few years, Waterkeepers Chesapeake has worked to prevent horizontal hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from coming to the state of Maryland. We had a short-lived victory when a 2-year moratorium law passed in the beginning of 2015 – but that law will expire in October 2017, meaning that fracking could start to negatively impact our water, air and health in just a few months. While Garrett and Allegany counties would be immediately and disproportionately burdened if fracking proceeds, the long-term impacts would be felt across Maryland. We can look at the track record in other states to see that no state has developed and enforced regulations that would be protective enough of the environment and public health to allow fracking.  Mounting evidence demonstrates that the fracking industry has a long history of noncompliance and violations of regulations and permits. Even compliance with purportedly strong regulations has caused irreversible harm. A growing body of peer-reviewed evidence finds that fracking simply cannot be done without risk to public health and the environment—and that regulations are not capable of preventing harm. Wells will leak and regulators cannot solve inherent problems with the process that industry cannot fix. Once contaminated, we have lost that source of clean water forever.  During the fall of 2016, the Maryland Department of the Environment released regulations in anticipation of the moratorium being lifted this fall. We worked with the Georgetown Law Clinic to submit…
The proposed 600-mile fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is on its way to being built – unless we all work together to stop this unnecessary and economically and environmentally devastating project. Under the new federal administration, this pipeline will be expedited and built as quickly as possible – despite overwhelming local opposition. We need to act now and submit comments by April 6th. Not surprisingly, given Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) history of rubberstamping pipeline projects, it concluded that any impacts on the environment could be mitigated so that “the majority of project effects would be reduced to less-than-significant levels.” Now is the time for people to comment on FERC’s grossly inadequate and incomplete draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). The burden is on FERC to fully investigate the environmental risks and costs associated with the ACP, including all new and supplemental information. FERC has not done this. In addition to FERC approval, in order for the ACP to be built across national forest lands, the US Forest Service must issue a special use permit and amend both national forest management plans for the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. The public can submit comments on the DEIS to FERC by April 6th, including comments on the request to the Forest Service for a special use permit. There are several ways to do this. The fastest and easiest is by signing this petition and we will submit it to FERC. Please submit comments by April 6th. Do it today by…