Drilling for natural gas will soon be coming to Western Maryland, splitting camps into those who think it is no different than other industries and others with environmental concerns. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun video)

If Sen. Joan Carter Conway really believes that hydraulic fracturing should be banned, she needs to support SB 740 and not vie for a moratorium ("Why is Conway blocking a fracking ban?" March 9). The win in the House of Delegates is proof that banning fracking in Maryland can be a reality. We do not need to waste taxpayers' money for more environmental studies. The EPA has already confirmed that fracking contaminates water in some wells close to the fracking site. Other states have reported earthquakes primarily caused by the underground disposal of wastewater from fracking. Numerous health problems result from this unconventional process of blasting toxic chemicals deep into the earth.

Let's set a precedent and permanently ban fracking in Maryland. The beautiful wilderness of Western Maryland should be preserved for future generations. The economy is dependent on tourism and would likely be negatively impacted by air and noise pollution, not to mention the endless trucks driving on rural roads. Real estate investments would be placed on hold due to the uncertainty of a moratorium. We should not pit county against county by holding referendums on whether to approve fracking in Maryland. The advent of fracking in Western Maryland will affect the whole state with massive infrastructure, including pipelines, compressor stations and the prospective Cove Point processing facility. We should learn from the trials and tribulations of fracking experienced by our neighbor, Pennsylvania, and commit to a ban.

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Gail Landy, Gaithersburg

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