For Immediate Release:
March 10, 2017
Contact: Tim Whitehouse, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility,
Health Organizations Applaud the Maryland House of Delegates for Passing Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing in Maryland
Health Professionals Call on Maryland Senate to Pass Companion Bill
Annapolis, MD — Concerned by the rapidly expanding evidence of harm to human health and the environment caused by fracking, the Maryland House of Delegates voted 97-40 on March 10, 2017, to ban this process used for unconventional gas development and production in Maryland.
“The House of Delegates made the right decision. Research now confirms that fracking has the potential to cause both short-term and long-term health impacts, many of which will be irreversible,” said Dr. Gina Angiola, member of the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility.
“In the last two years, highly reputable research institutions have released studies showing statistically significant associations between fracking activities and an array of illnesses, including asthma, premature births, and childhood leukemia,” said Dr. Angiola.
“Our neighbors in Pennsylvania and West Virginia have shared their first-hand experiences about the fracking industry and have warned us to keep fracking out of our state,” said Ann Bristow, PhD, Commissioner, Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. Banning fracking before it comes to Maryland rests on solid public health policy. The House of Delegates has taken a vital step by passing a ban on fracking in our state.”
"As a nurse, I commend the Maryland House of Delegates for putting the health of all Marylanders first and passing HB1325 - Prohibition of Hydraulic Fracturing," stated Katie Huffling, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. "They recognize that regulations in other states have not shown to protect the health of those living near by and bringing this dangerous industry to the State of Maryland is too great a risk for the health of the State's residents.”
"MdEHN applauds the Maryland House of Delegates on the decision to ban fracking. It signals to us that vital public health concerns are paramount in Annapolis. The fracking ban is an important preventive care measure that protects all Marylanders from avoidable environmental health harms near fracking sites and curbs our contribution to climate change. We are counting on the legislature to safeguard access to clean air and water across the state to improve health outcomes and quality of life,” said Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, Executive Director, Maryland Environmental Health Network.
The Maryland Nurses Association released this statement: “The Maryland Nurses Association commends the House of Delegates for passing HB1325 - Prohibition of Hydraulic Fracturing. This measure will protect the citizens of Maryland from air, water, and land contamination associated with 'fracking'. We would like to thank our delegates for their favorable vote on this important health issue, and strongly support a full hearing of the companion bill in the Senate.”
For these reasons, more than 220 health professionals signed a letter to the Governor and the leadership of the Maryland General Assembly, calling for a ban on fracking. That letter can be found here.