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Fracking must be banned

Why put Western Maryland's lucrative tourism industry at risk?

Fracking would be an economic bust for Garrett County ("New fracking rules won't protect the environment," Oct. 17). Regulation would not solve the multi-faceted problems that are inherent in the hydraulic fracturing process.

My focus is on the Western Maryland economy and how it is spurred by the tourist trade. This pristine mountainous region provides an escape from the hustle of the city. Garrett County provides an opportunity for many recreational pursuits such as hiking, fishing and skiing. The advent of fracking would disrupt the peaceful tranquillity of these rural communities and surrounding parklands. Fracking is a round-the-clock operation resulting in endless noise pollution from drilling for oil and gas deep within the earth.

Endless trucks carrying toxic chemicals roll along rural roads not designed for this level of traffic. The possibility of a chemical spill is always imminent. The streams and lakes brimming with fish can be contaminated by waste water expelled from the fracking site. The companies must constantly move on due to limited supply of reserves leaving scarred areas exposed. Local towns often shoulder the responsibility of cleaning the sites abandoned by oil companies.

Regulating fracking will only mar the beautiful scenery and commit us to years of fossil fuel development. The argument over fracking in Maryland is one-sided. Fracking must be banned in our state.

Gail Landy, Gaithersburg

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