Statement in Support of a Long-Term Moratorium on Fracking in Maryland

It is time for our elected representatives in Maryland to listen to the science and keep fracking out of Maryland!

Envision Frederick County is one of a lengthy, diverse and growing list of public interest organizations, businesses and faith groups (listed and linked below) from across Maryland and the United States that are committed to passing a fracking moratorium in the 2015 Session of the Maryland general Assembly.

From the Chesapeake Climate Action Network:

On February 5th, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, Senator Karen Montgomery, and 46 other legislators introduced the Protect Our Health and Communities Act, legislation that will put a long-term moratorium on fracking in Maryland.

A growing body of science shows that fracking threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink. The bill will provide time for long-term health studies on fracking to be conducted, so that we fully understand the risks before deciding to subject Maryland residents to a public health experiment.

Our legislators must act in 2015. Use the form below to urge your state delegates and senator to support a moratorium, or thank them if they are already a sponsor.

Click here to add your name to the list of individuals endorsing the campaign.

Click here to add your organization to the list of those signing the position statement below.

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Position Statement in Support of a Long-Term Moratorium on Fracking in Maryland

Signatories as of February 2, 2015

Concerned by the rapidly expanding evidence of harm and the growing uncertainties caused by unconventional natural gas development and production, we, the undersigned organizations, call for a long-term moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracturing in Maryland.

The emerging science now includes hundreds of peer–reviewed studies, case studies, and reports demonstrating 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. Furthermore, it is clear that fundamental data gaps remain regarding the long-term and cumulative health effects of fracking and how to effectively mitigate risks. There is no evidence that the state can regulate hydraulic fracturing in a way that adequately protects public health, natural resources, or the economy.

Citing significant public health risks, including those documented in Maryland’s own health study, New York recently announced that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in the State. Maryland, too, should proactively protect the health of its residents.

Based on what we know now, we believe that fracking endangers public health and is the wrong approach to building a robust Maryland economy and a clean energy future. We urge Maryland’s legislature to pass an extended moratorium in 2015.

MARYLAND ORGANIZATIONS

Alliances of Nurses for Healthy Environments

Ann’s Backyard Forest, Ltd. (Maryland)

Assateague Coastal Trust

Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility

Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council

Citizen Shale

Conservation Montgomery

Community Research

Environment Maryland

Envision Frederick County

Friends of Deep Creek Lake

Garrett Countians for Smart Growth

Greenbelt Climate Action Network

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER

Howard County Climate Change

Howard Park Civic Association

Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake

League of Women Voters Maryland

Maryland Environmental Health Network

Maryland League of Conservation Voters

Maryland Native Plant Society

Maryland NOW

Maryland Pesticide Education Network

Maryland Public Health Association

Maryland Sierra Club

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy

Montgomery Countryside Alliance

Montgomery County Green Party

Montgomery County Progressive Alliance

Mountainside Education and Enrichment (Maryland)

Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community

Patuxent Riverkeeper

Progressive Democrats of America – Maryland

Progressive Neighbors

Sang Run Outfitters (Maryland)

Savage River Outfitters

Savage River Watershed Association

Save Western Maryland

Severn Riverkeeper

South River Federation – South RIVERKEEPER

Spring Creek Outfitters (Maryland)

The Harvest Collective

Town of Mountain Lake Park

Transition Howard County

University of Maryland Student Sustainability Committee

Upper Potomac Riverkeeper

Urban Ecosystems Restorations, Inc

UU Church of Annapolis

WaterKeepers Chesapeake

Western MD Guides Association

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Big Blackfoot Riverkeeper

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Health, Environment & Justice

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Clean Water Action

CREDO Action

Daily Kos

Democracy for America

Earthjustice

Earthworks

Environment Action

Food & Water Watch

Friends of the Earth

Labor Network for Sustainability

Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper

Moms Clean Air Force

Natural Resources Defense Council

Organic Consumer Association

Progressive Democrats of America

Rachel Carson Council

Rainforest Action Network

Waterkeeper Alliance

REGIONAL/OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

Altamaha Riverkeeper

Apalachicola Riverkeeper

Grand River Keeper

Berks Gas Truth

Breathe Easy Susquehanna County

Cahaba Riverkeeper

Citizens for Clean Water

Grand Riverkeeper

Green Party of Pennsylvania

Interfaith Power and Light (DC, MD, NoVa)

Lehigh Valley Gas Truth

Mountain Watershed Association/Youghiogheny Riverkeeper

Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont

Peoples’ Action for a Safe Environment

River Guardian Foundation

Riverkeeper (New York)

Click on the image to open a larger version.


Baltimore Sun
Health, environmental groups seek fracking moratorium
February 5, 2015
By Timothy B. Wheeler

Washington Post
Lawmaker asks for halt on fracking plans in Maryland
February 5, 2015

Protect Marylanders from Fracking
January 22, 2015

Fracking snake oil for Marylanders
January 19, 2015
by Elisabeth Hoffman

Fracking Affects Myersville Even Without Drilling
January 9, 2015
by Ann Marie Nau

Frederick News Post Editorial
Frack, no — despite report on possible economic benefits and safety claims
Tuesday, December 2, 2014


The Maryland Environmental Health Network created a concise summary of the impacts of fracking.

Air Quality: Benzene and formaldehyde, known carcinogens, have been detected at high levels at fracking wells, and even above safe levels several hundred feet away.2 Air quality is increasingly viewed as one of the greatest health concerns due to the potential for immediate health effects.

Water Contamination: A 2011 study found that private drinking-water wells had on average methane levels 17 times higher up to a km from drilling sites, compared to those in non-drilling sites.3 There are no known remediation technologies when an aquifer is poisoned.

Secret Chemicals: Weak federal legislation has allowed companies to keep fracking chemicals and formulas secret, so communities and clinicians do not know what they have been exposed to. Commercial interests should not be allowed to supersede public health.4

Setback Distances: We do not know what is a safe distance. A one-size-fits-all policy will not suffice because unique geology, hydrology, and topography will dictate safe distances from wells.5

Radiation: Wastewater tests in Pennsylvania and New York found levels 3,600 times more radioactive than federal limits for drinking water6 and 300 times more radioactive than Nuclear Regulatory Agency limits for nuclear plant discharge.

Impact on Food Supply: Wild animals such as deer consuming contaminated wastewater could poison local consumers who often hunt for food supply. Cattle that die from wastewater poisoning in Pennsylvania are sent to slaughter houses without testing.7 Dairy products from cattle living near gas fields are not tested.

Birth Outcomes: Researchers studying found that mothers who lived near oil and gas wells in Colorado were 30 percent more likely to have babies with heart defects.8 Other researchers working with Pennsylvania birth data found elevated levels of babies born below a healthy weight.9