Health Professionals Support a Fracking Ban in Maryland

Background information:

Many states, including Pennsylvania and West Virginia, have allowed unconventional gas development enabled by high-volume hydraulic fracturing to expand rapidly within their borders over the last decade. Maryland leaders wisely put moratoria in place at several critical junctures to allow time for study. Policymakers today have invaluable information that should be guiding policy; however, much of this information is being ignored.

Maryland is currently set to allow permits to be issued under a regulatory framework in October 2017 unless the General Assembly enacts a ban in the 2017 legislative session that begins in January. New York has banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing, as have several nations (including Germany, Scotland, and France), based largely on the emerging information about public health and environmental damage. The health community in Maryland is a respected voice that can play an important role in protecting Maryland residents. Please sign the letter below if you agree that the risks of unconventional gas development outweigh potential benefits to our state, and therefore this process should not be permitted in Maryland.

Dear Governor Hogan, Senate President Miller, and House Speaker Busch,

We, the undersigned public health professionals, health care providers, and researchers, ask for your support for legislation that would prevent unconventional natural gas development enabled by hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as "fracking," from beginning in Maryland.  

The growing body of scientific research on unconventional gas development demonstrates significant risks and harms to human and animal health and to the environment, while providing no evidence that any regulatory framework can adequately protect Maryland residents. The scientific literature now includes nearly 700 peer-reviewed research papers [1], the majority of which were published in the last three years. Many of these studies appeared after completion of Maryland’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission review process in December of 2014 [2].

Read the entire letter here.