Today, the Maryland House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee lost a valuable opportunity to provide protection for Marylanders against the dangers of fracking when it blocked legislation to ban the treatment, storage, disposal, and discharge of fracking wastewater in Maryland. It’s regrettable that the committee wasn’t allowed to pass the legislation.
It’s outrageous that instead of asking for a simple yes or no vote, Chairwoman Maggie McIntosh asked “Who needs to vote for this to get re-elected.” The fact that she then told a legislator that he didn’t need the vote “down there” in his district shows her intent not let the legislation through no matter how much support it had in committee.
Since fracking wastewater is exempted from federal-and state-level regulations pertaining to hazardous waste, thanks to the oil and gas industry, there is no reason why Maryland legislators shouldn’t at least provide protections for water and public health, as the state continues to debate on fracking.
Currently, Maryland is not equipped to safely manage the hazardous waste produced by fracking and drilling, and the state’s wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to handle the contaminants typically contained in fracking wastewater.
Statement by Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.