Friday 24 November 2017

Press Statements (59)

Maryland Legislators Introduce Fracking Moratorium Bill Over 100 Md. Health Professionals Support Moratorium, Citing Serious Health Risks; New National Poll Shows Majority of Americans Opposed to Fracking Annapolis, Md. – Maryland Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, Senator Karen Montgomery, and 46 other General Assembly members today introduced the Protect Our Health and Communities Act, a bill to enact a long-term statewide moratorium on fracking. At the same time, a new statewide group of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, Concerned Health Professionals of Maryland (CHP-Md), released a letter to General Assembly leadership, signed by more than 100 Maryland health professionals, supporting the moratorium bill. The letter highlighted a recent analysis that found 96 percent of peer-reviewed studies evaluating health impacts from fracking show serious health risks or actual adverse outcomes related to the drilling method.  As scientific evidence of fracking’s health threats mounts, Americans are increasingly turning against the controversial drilling method. A Jan. 29th Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans now oppose increased fracking. Furthermore, opposition to fracking within America’s scientific community is even greater, with 66 percent of all scientists and 73 percent of biological and medical scientists opposed. Fracking is a controversial natural gas extraction method that involves blasting millions of gallons of water, sand and toxic chemicals underground at extreme pressure to break up rock and release the gas. Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies have identified numerous human health risks, air and water pollution, increased earthquake activity, and social problems linked to drilling and fracking…
Agriculture sector only halfway toward 2017 goal for phosphorus pollution (Annapolis, MD) – Claims by the farm lobby that Maryland’s agriculture industry is ahead of its Chesapeake Bay clean-up goals to reduce pollution are factually inaccurate. The Chesapeake Bay Program confirmed this week that as of June 2013 (its most recent data), Maryland’s agriculture sector is only 51 percent of the way toward meeting its 2017 goal to reduce phosphorus. “The agriculture industry clearly has a long way to go to reduce phosphorous pollution,” said Betsy Nicholas, executive director, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a member of the Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition. “It is shameful how hard the poultry industry, its lobbyists, and others continue to fight commonsense and scientifically sound solutions.” The Farm Bureau continues to object to the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT), inaccurately and repeatedly stating agriculture is ahead of its goals. Federal experts tracking progress have established that the Farm Bureau is incorrect. “What is undisputable and what should spur the General Assembly and Governor-elect Hogan into action is that not only is agriculture industry is the largest source of pollution to the Bay but that it is behind the curve,” said Joanna Diamond, co-chair of the Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition. “Every year, Maryland produces enough poultry waste to fill both M & T Bank stadium and FedEx Field. We’ve simply got too much manure that farmers are spreading on already polluting fields.  And as a result our water quality is getting worse, not better.” The PMT would reduce pollution…
Citing Growing Science, a Broad Coalition of 61 Health, Environment, Faith and Advocacy Groups Unite to Call on the State Legislature to Pass a Long-Term Moratorium on Fracking in Maryland  Organizations warn that permitting fracking in Maryland poses significant threats to the health and safety of Marylanders, and to the quality of our air, water and soil Annapolis, MD—Seeking to protect Marylanders from the public health and environmental risks of fracking, 61 organizations are calling for a long-term moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Maryland. In a position statement released today, the groups emphasized that, “there is no evidence that the state can regulate hydraulic fracturing in a way that adequately protects public health, natural resources, or the economy.” The diverse coalition of local, state and national public health organizations, faith, environmental, and other advocacy groups citing numerous peer-reviewed studies and reports, are calling on the Maryland General Assembly to pass a long-term moratorium to protect citizens from the many recorded dangers associated with fracking. A recent analysis found that 96 percent of all papers published on health impacts indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes. “Recent studies suggest that unconventional natural gas development can cause both short-term and long-term adverse health impacts, some of which may be irreversible,” said Dr. Gina Angiola, a member of the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. “These types of health impacts carry tremendous emotional and economic costs for families and communities. We urge the Maryland Legislature to adopt a long-term moratorium to allow time for…