Today Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava stood alongside nationally renowned biologist, author, and cancer survivor Dr. Sandra Steingraber to release a portion of a major new compilation of the scientific and medical findings citing water contamination and other harms related to fracking. The event was part of a lecture Dr. Steingraber was giving at Miami-Dade Community College.
Dr. Steingraber said the health community was united in recommending that Florida push forward a statewide ban on fracking based on the scientific findings of the report. The analysis includes a Florida portion in the forthcoming Fifth Edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking.
The press conference also featured medical professionals from Florida chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility who simultaneously released a letter in support of a state fracking ban signed by health professionals. The letter was sent to Governor Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, and Senate President Joe Negro alongside the report findings.
The significant and rapidly accumulating evidence demonstrates that drilling and fracking pose serious risks of water contamination and harm to public health in Florida. More than 90 percent of residents drink groundwater in Florida, and the state’s porous geology makes it especially vulnerable to groundwater contamination.
Disposal of fracking waste in Florida would mean injecting liquid waste above, rather than below, oil and gas producing zones, located closer to aquifers (which are poorly mapped) than in most states. Meanwhile, hurricanes and flooding will continue to pose more and more drastic threats of toxic spills the report found.
Dr. Jefry Biehler, Florida Physicians for Social Responsibility said, “We are thrilled to join forces with the renowned Dr. Sandra Steingraber to present about the risks and harms of fracking, and for her to join us in calling on the Florida State Legislature to prohibit fracking.”
Michelle Allen, Food & Water Watch said, “At this point, the dangers of fracking have been laid out time and time again. Now we have an expansive body of peer-reviewed studies, reports, and investigative articles that outline the devastation fracking would cause in Florida in particular. It is not worth pandering to Big Energy in our State. Instead, we stand with Steingraber, health professionals and Florida residents to implore that our elected officials stand up for public health and the environment and ban fracking to ensure the inherently dangerous threat is kept out of our state once and for all.”
Sandra Steingraber, PhD, Concerned Health Professionals of New York said, “The scientific literature now contains more than 1,300 studies on the risks and harms of fracking. Altogether, this data shows that fracking is not safe and cannot be made safe by any set of regulations. Wells fail. Spills, leaks, and blowouts happen. Air is polluted. Water is poisoned. Fracking is an inherently dangerous, accident-prone industry that has no place in a densely populated, groundwater-dependent, hurricane-prone state like Florida.”
Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Miami Dade County Commission said, “Nothing is more important than the protection of drinking water from pollution. We passed a fracking ban ordinance here in Miami-Dade to protect the drinking water for millions of South Floridians and now we’re working to ban the disposal of fracking wastewater. I hope our state legislators follow suit and pass the statewide fracking ban this year.”