Waterkeepers Celebrate Passage of a Statewide Ban on Fracking in Maryland

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 a persistent, science-based grassroots campaign. Residents across the state, and especially in Western Maryland, voiced their opposition to fracking for the past 7 years. We thank the legislature for hearing them and acting today to protect our water, air and land resources for generations to come,” said Robin Broder, Board Member, Waterkeepers Chesapeake.

We give a special thanks our key partners in the Don’t Frack Maryland coalition: Citizen Shale, Don’t Frack Western Maryland, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Howard County Climate Action, Food & Water Watch, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Maryland Sierra Club and Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

Read Food & Water Watch’s blog on how people power won!