WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draft assessment of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activities on drinking water resources in the United States.
“The EPA has concluded that hydraulic fracturing activities in the United States can potentially harm clean drinking water supplies. And while not ‘widespread,’ there already have been ‘systemic impacts on drinking water resources.’ These results are troubling news for those of us who are willing to support tapping into the natural gas reserves of this nation, but are adamant that it must be done in a safe and environmentally sound manner,” said Senator Cardin. “Americans have a right to clean and safe drinking water and I read this report as a call for greater protections for public health, public land, and water resources before fracking is allowed to expand in Maryland and elsewhere around the country.
“Natural gas development can help America transition towards a clean, independent energy future, but only if it is done responsibly. The promise of natural gas will be a promise unfulfilled if human health and the environment are not properly safe-guarded.”
More than four years ago, in April 2011, Senator Cardin, as then-Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water Subcommittee, held the first Senate hearing on fracking and its impact on public health and the environment.