Maryland Becomes the First State with Natural Gas Reserves to Ban Fracking Through Legislation

Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation on April 4th to enact a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing. The bill’s chief author is Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo. Legislators and the public expressed concern over water contamination, public health impacts, greenhouse-gas emissions, and earthquakes as reasons for a ban.

Maryland is the first state with shale deposits to ban the process through legislation. Previous states that have taken similar action were New York, which previously banned fracking through an executive order, and Vermont, which barred the process through legislation but does not have natural gas reserves.

In 2015, Maryland passed a two-year moratorium on fracking to study how the practice would impact the state. The new bill, HB1325, is an outcome of that process and prohibits fracking permanently. 

Resources:

  • A news story about the ban is available here
  • The legislation is available here. 
  • NCEL’s resource page on fracking is available here.