Vermont bans hydraulic fracturing

Source: Business Insurance, May 17, 2012
By: Judy Greenwald

Vermont became the first state in the country to ban the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, which is widely known as fracking, when Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the ban into law Wednesday.

Hydraulic fracturing is a process that uses high-pressure water, sand and chemicals to free natural gas from subterranean shale deposits.

The legislation, H. 464, states the ban, which takes immediate effect, should be repealed “when hydraulic fracturing can be conducted without risk of contamination to the groundwater of Vermont.”

In signing the legislation, Gov. Shumlin said: “This bill will ensure we do not inject chemicals into groundwater in a desperate pursuit for energy. It is a big moment. I hope other states will follow us. The science on fracking is uncertain at best. Let the other states be the guinea pigs. Let the Green Mountain State preserve its clean water, its lakes, its rivers and its quality of life.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new standards last month intended to reduce air pollution associated with natural gas production, but observers say it will do little to quell controversy surrounding fracking.

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