Organizations warn 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
Annapolis, MD—Seeking to protect Marylanders from the public health and environmental risks of fracking, 61 organizations are calling for a long-term moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Maryland. In a position statement released today, the groups emphasized that, “there is no evidence that the state can regulate hydraulic fracturing in a way that adequately protects public health, natural resources, or the economy.”
The diverse coalition of local, state and national public health organizations, faith, environmental, and other advocacy groups citing numerous peer-reviewed studies and reports, are calling on the Maryland General Assembly to pass a long-term moratorium to protect citizens from the many recorded dangers associated with fracking. A recent analysis found that 96 percent of all papers published on health impacts indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes.
“Recent studies suggest that unconventional natural gas development can cause both short-term and long-term adverse health impacts, some of which may be irreversible,” said Dr. Gina Angiola, a member of the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. “These types of health impacts carry tremendous emotional and economic costs for families and communities. We urge the Maryland Legislature to adopt a long-term moratorium to allow time for more scientific and medical knowledge to emerge on the impacts of fracking.”
“As a nurse-midwife, I am deeply concerned about the elevated risks of birth defects and low birth weight babies seen in families near fracking sites. We need to protect our future generations and put a hold on fracking in Maryland,” said Katie Huffling, RN, CNM Director of Programs for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. “I urge the Maryland legislature to put the health of all Maryland’s citizens first and support a long-term moratorium on fracking Maryland.”
“Five years ago, as companies leased our lands for gas exploitation, a few people in mountain Maryland joined with others across our state to seek protections,” said Citizen Shale President Paul Roberts. “We believed that scientific discovery and commonsense caution would one day bring us all to this conclusion: fracking is fraught with unacceptable threats to our water, our air, and our economy. Health is wealth, and we believe Americans everywhere share this preference for our nation’s future.”
The coalition’s statement comes shortly after the New York State Health Department recommended that fracking should not be allowed in that state based on the existing science and the lack of studies on the long term effects of fracking on public health. Subsequently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in the state. Read more…