By TONI ELLINGTON
Last week, the federal government announced final rules for regulating hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands and tribal lands. In fracking-related legislation for the states, the state of Maryland appears to be close to passing legislation to ban fracking. The Maryland House passed HB0449, a bill which would put a moratorium on fracking for three years while a scientific panel investigates the long-term environmental and health impacts. The Maryland Senate will now consider the bill. If passed, HB0449 would ban fracking in the Marcellus Shale region in Maryland.
In December 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would ban fracking in the state, which is also in the Marcellus Shale region. Supporters of the Governor’s decision say the ban for New York will have little impact on supply. However, at least 15 New York towns are reported to be considering secession because of the decision. These towns are in areas dependent on fracking operations for their economies.
Vermont was the first state in the United States to ban fracking, although the ban had little impact because there is little to no natural gas in the state. Connecticut banned the storage and handling of fracking waste in August of last year.
For updates on fracking legislation, stay tuned to this blog, or call Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.