Fracking hasn’t proved safe
The Hogan administration will miss a legal deadline to publish fracking regulations. Is it really OK for our state government to ignore legal deadlines (“Maryland officials say state will miss deadline to set fracking rules, as push for a permanent ban begins,” Sept. 18)?
The purpose of this deadline was to allow adequate time for citizens and lawmakers to review the regulations prior to the legislative session in January, including a 30-day period to allow for citizen comment and time for those comments to be reviewed. In addition to regulations, there will be a need for solid enforcement as well as adequate monitoring. Can we really count on money being allotted to ensure all of these tasks are completed thoroughly? Allocating money for public safety is not always the priority it should be.
The overview of the regulations released in the summer indicates the drilling of gas wells will be permitted closer to homes and wells than was permitted by the regulations crafted by the O’Malley administration (which took two years to complete). This is happening even though, as reporter Scott Dance acknowledges in his article, fracking “has been found to contaminate nearby water sources” — a point supported by the many incidents of water contamination in Pennsylvania and elsewhere where fracking is done throughout the country.
It would be negligent on the part of legislators to trust the Hogan administration to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Maryland. The truth is, no region of the country has succeeded in creating regulations that make fracking safe. Our legislators need to ban fracking throughout the state of Maryland. Don’t let us be another fracking experiment.