Thursday 27 April 2017

Press Statements (55)

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…
In a surprising announcement late Friday afternoon, Governor Larry Hogan announced his full support of a statewide ban on fracking in Maryland. Waterkeepers Chesapeake released this statement: “We thank Governor Hogan for recognizing that the “possible environmental risks simply outweigh any potential benefits” and for giving his full support for a ban on fracking in Maryland. We are grateful that the tireless grassroots organizing led by the Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition has finally resonated with the governor and he recognizes the need to protect our clean water supplies from this toxic industrial practice. We have one more critical step to make a ban on fracking a reality. The Maryland Senate needs to follow the House’s lead and vote to support a statewide ban on fracking. We urge Marylanders to call their senators.”
MEDIA STATEMENT ‘EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Will be Watched Carefully’ Nomination mobilized extraordinary citizen effort against confirmation Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of 19 Riverkeepers, Coastkeepers and Shorekeepers from around the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays watersheds, will be closely monitoring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under newly-confirmed administrator Scott Pruitt. When Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was tapped by President Donald Trump on December 7, 2016, Waterkeepers from around the Bay were gravely concerned about his ability to effectively administer the agency. Pruitt had unsuccessfully joined multiple lawsuits to halt the agency’s efforts to enforce the Clean Water and the Clean Air acts. Residents from around the Chesapeake Bay expressed concerns about the Chesapeake Bay’s ongoing cleanup efforts with Pruitt helming the pollution-fighting agency. With strong grassroots mobilization, Waterkeepers Chesapeake encouraged thousands of residents in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia to write letters to their U.S. Senators asking them to vote “no” on Pruitt. “A man who describes himself as a ‘leading advocate against the EPA’ is not the right person to head the EPA,” said Betsy Nicholas, executive director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “We are very disappointed that there weren’t enough Senators to recognize the threat Mr. Pruitt poses to clean air and water.” Nonetheless, Nicholas praised the outpouring of support: “We had thousands of letters, phone calls and in person exchanges coming from residents. We saw an unprecedented citizen mobilization on this nomination. We are grateful to these citizen advocates.” “To me, that says Pruitt is…