Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed a bill that permanently bans fracking in the state last week, after the bill passed the Democrat-led Assembly and state Senate last week, reports Samantha Page.

During fracking, large quantities of “chemical- and sand-laced water are injected deep underground, breaking up shale formations and releasing oil and gas deposits trapped within, says Page, and Maryland’s “northwest panhandle lies atop the Marcellus shale formation, one of the largest known natural gas reservoirs in the world.”

“With Governor Hogan’s signature, Marylanders can feel safe knowing their air, their water, and their health will now be protected from the inherent dangers of fracking,” Hauter said in a statement. “Governor Hogan’s opposition to fracking demonstrates that matters of public health and our environment need not be partisan.”

The result of years of grassroots organizing, the ban followed a moratorium on fracking passed two years ago, which allowed the state to study the environmental impacts of the practice.

Recent research has tied fracking to diminished air quality and numerous negative health effects, particularly for children. Wastewater disposal from fracking operations has also been linked to man-made earthquakes, says Page.

Read more at Think Progress

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