Florida Republican lawmakers citing unresolved health concerns are trying to ban fracking in the Sunshine State.
According to the Associated Press, legislators are pushing a bill to safeguard Florida’s clean water supply which is the drinking source for 90 percent of Floridians and a major player in the state’s economy.
If passed, the bill would ban any type of well stimulation technique statewide including fracking. Fracking is a practice that requires pumping huge volumes of chemicals, sand and water underground to split open rock formation to allow oil and gas to flow.
Environmentalists have said chemicals used in the process can leak into underground water sources. Because Florida’s sits atop porous, sponge-like sedimentary limestone, environmentalists believe it is at a higher risk of chemical leaks.
In 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that fracking poses a risk to drinking water in some circumstances, but added that a lack of information on the practice makes it hard to know how severe that risk would be.
The legislation is coming at a time when the anti-fracking movement has ballooned across the state. According to a Floridians Against Fracking report, 90 communities have introduced measures seeking to ban the practice one way or another.
State legislators in Maryland and Nevada are also considering a ban on fracking this year. Vermont and New York are currently the only states with an outright ban on the practice.
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