Water Blog - Why A Fracking Ban Matters to Baltimore

News, notes and thoughts from Blue Water Baltimore.



Why A Fracking Ban Matters to Baltimore

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If you live in Baltimore, hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) in Maryland might seem like someone else’s problem. After all, it’s not very likely that we’ll see fracking in Patterson Park.

Yet, Blue Water Baltimore is taking a strong stance that we need a ban on fracking in Maryland. And we think you should too. Why?

You might guess that fracking is a serious source of water pollution, and you’d be right. Hydraulic fracturing is a technique that releases natural gas from rocks by using pressurized fluids to cause cracks in underground rocks.

Fracking wastewater
Image: Catskill Mountainkeeper

This process consumes large volumes of water, and produces copious amounts of contaminated wastewater. Some of this wastewater is trapped underground and contaminates groundwater, and the rest of the pollution returns to the surface where it can pollute rivers and streams.

Most of that pollution will happen–at least initially–in Maryland’s three westernmost counties: Washington, Garrett and Allegany.

But if fracking is allowed to happen in Maryland, there is a strong possibility that water extracted from these processes will be trucked to the Baltimore area and processed at the state’s largest facility–Back River Treatment Plant.

Treatment for the wastewater is not fully understood, and moreover, our plant is not set up to manage this toxic byproduct. We do not want it being discharged from the plant into Back River.

Don't Frack MDBlue Water Baltimore supports a ban on fracking, as opposed to a moratorium, because a moratorium would be accompanied by an environmental study costing $1.2 million or more to conduct, even though there are multiple existing studies that clearly demonstrate the economic and human impacts of fracking.

Honestly, we would rather see taxpayer dollars go towards other essential environmental restoration and protection projects instead of yet another study to confirm what we already know: that fracking will be bad for Maryland.

This Friday, March 8th, Blue Water Baltimore will be joining Food & Water Watch and Environment Maryland for a rally to ban fracking in Maryland at 12pm in Annapolis.

 


Annapolis Rally to Ban Fracking
Friday, March 8 at noon

Maryland State House Square • 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD

Thurgood Marshall Memorial on Lawyers Mall (click here for more details)


 

The most important hearing in this legislative session about fracking is on Friday, and the more people who rally in support of a ban, the more likely we can properly protect our water quality from fracking. Our legislators need to hear from Maryland citizens, not paid lobbyists, so we really need your help.

We hope you can join us on Friday as we stand together for clean water in Maryland.