Saturday 17 March 2018

We need your help! The current moratorium on fracking will expire October 2017. The time is now to pass a ban on fracking during the 2017 Maryland legislative session.

Send an email today to demand a ban on fracking to protect our water, air and people.

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.

No state has developed and enforced regulations protective enough of the environment and public health to warrant allowing it. In fact, Maryland’s proposed regulations are remarkably weak and would put our drinking water, air and health in danger. Rather than use the time during the moratorium to conduct a thorough risk assessment of fracking, Governor Hogan’s administration instead issued proposed changes to draft regulations written during Governor O’Malley’s tenure that would further weaken, not strengthen state fracking rules.

Send an email today to demand a ban on fracking!

While Garrett and Allegany counties would be immediately and disproportionately burdened if fracking proceeds, the long-term impacts would be felt across Maryland. Federal approval of the Cove Point natural gas export terminal will spur development of natural gas pipelines and compressor stations across the state, resulting in additional air and water impacts

Sustainable jobs from tourism and agriculture, as well as from future economic development and green jobs, could be lost due to the industrialization that accompanies drilling and fracking. While the oil and gas industry seeks to profit from selling Maryland's gas, we would be the ones left with the legacy of pollution.

Governor Hogan and the gas industry want to start fracking as soon as the current two-year moratorium expires. If the industry succeeds, generations of Marylanders would pay the environmental and public health costs.

Our current two-year moratorium was a great start, but we need a statewide fracking ban to safeguard Maryland's long-term future. Please send an email to support a ban on fracking to protect the health and environment of Maryland residents.


Join us on March 2nd for the March on Annapolis to Ban Fracking Now! RSVP & sign up for bus ride here!

Make a donation to support our efforts to ban fracking!

Waterkeepers Chesapeake Calls on MDE to Prohibit Fracking in Maryland

The EPA has reversed it’s earlier conclusion of it’s 5-year fracking study and now concludes that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances and identifies factors that influence these impacts.

The report identified several vulnerabilities to drinking water resources, including water withdrawals for fracking in drought-stricken areas; inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in below-ground migration of gases and liquids; inadequately treated wastewater discharged into drinking water resources; and spills of hydraulic fluids and wastewater.

The EPA removed the “widespread, systemic” language because it “could not be supported due to data gaps and uncertainties” and “did not clearly communicate the topline finding of the report.” The EPA had inserted the earlier statement about “no widespread systemic” contamination under pressure from the oil and gas industry.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake issued this statement:

“We applaud the EPA for basing the conclusion of their 5 year study on science, instead of oil and gas industry spin. The EPA now concludes what we have known all along: our drinking water sources have been contaminated with toxic compounds from fracking activities.

This conclusion would not have happened without all of the public feedback and participation on the report, especially from the impacted people from across the country who shared their stories with the Science Advisory Board. This highlights the increased need for citizen engagement and enforcement to hold regulators and polluters accountable.

In our recent comments on Maryland’s draft fracking regulations, we called on the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to prohibit fracking. Under state law, MDE has an obligation to protect public health and the environment. By adopting the proposed regulations despite increasing scientific evidence documenting the risk fracking presents to public health and the environment, MDE will fail to meet this legal obligation.

EPA’s conclusion along with mounting evidence from other states demonstrates that no amount of regulation is capable of preventing harm from fracking. Thus, the only way MDE can fulfill its legal obligation to keep its citizens safe and to protect the State’s environment is to prohibit fracking in Maryland.”

For more information on the campaign to ban fracking in Maryland, go to

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Dec. 8, 2016): We at Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of 19 Riverkeepers, Coastkeepers and Shorekeepers from around the Chesapeake Bay watershed, ask the U.S. Senate to scrutinize and reject the selection of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the incoming Trump administration.

The appointment of Pruitt, a self-confessed climate change denier and mouth piece for the oil and gas industry, is an insult to Americans who not only deserve, but have a right to clean air for breathing and clean water for drinking. This appointment will take America in the wrong direction. We urge the United States Senate to block confirmation of this appointment.  

The science of climate change is clear. With the rise of fake news, it is easy to muddle facts and confuse the public. Alongside the scientific community, the U.S. military has acknowledged and is preparing for a future with conflicts resulting from rising seas, population migration, severe drought, increasingly violent storms and more. 

“Our Waterkeepers are on the front lines seeing the impacts of pollution, rising sea levels and climate change,” said Betsy Nicholas, executive director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “The leader of the EPA should be someone who believes in the core mission of the Agency. Pruitt is not the man for the job.”

We recognize that most Americans want to be proactive when faced with threats. In the 1950s, we worked to beat back smog and air pollution by passing the Clean Air Act. When faced with significant impairment of our nation’s waterways, we passed the Clean Water Act. We banned HFCs to protect the ozone layer and even retrofitted major American cities with public sewer and water to eliminate public health threats of diseases like typhoid and cholera.

The fact is, EPA is our top pollution-fighting agency. Unfortunately, the president-elect has selected a fox to be in charge of the EPA henhouse. We strongly believe that the person administering the agency should not only understand and acknowledge the threats of fossil fuels, pollution and climate change, but be willing to administer the laws that he is sworn to uphold. 

Waterkeepers throughout the Chesapeake and coastal bays watershed have remained vigilant to enforce local, state and federal laws. We work with citizens across five states to monitor watersheds and hold polluters accountable. We have significant work to continue to clean up the Chesapeake Bay from both point and non-point sources of pollution.

We will continue to do our job. 

We urge the Senate to do theirs. 

Contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, Communications Manager • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.