In his recent newsletter, Delegate Beitzel provided an overview of the various fracking bills before the General Assembly, with the first hearing on the ban bill on 2/22/17 at 1 pm before the House Committee on Environment and Transportation. Good source to understand the state delegation’s pro fracking position.
Before Halloween, start of the World Series and the bear hunt season, we all missed an important annual celebration. This was the September 20th celebration of ShakeOut.
ShakeOut is a worldwide campaign to inform the public proper earthquake preparedness and safety techniques and is hosted here by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
Earthquakes? Here? Yes. Early afternoon of August 23, 2011 we felt the quake here which had its epicenter in southern Virginia. Ironically the earthquake happened during a community meeting with members of the General Assembly Committee on Environmental Matters who were here on a fracking fact finding tour.
Since 2011, we have learned about the connection between fracking and earthquakes. There exists a substantial body of scientific findings showing connection between fracking practices and increase in earthquakes.
We have been informed that the scientists from Maryland Geological Survey have found 3 fault lines which come to the surface in our county—the first finding of such faults lines in in Appalachia.
We also now know the Maryland Department of Environmental regulations for fracking omit any protections for the integrity for dams in our county.
While I acknowledge this is a long shot but without any consideration it is a risk and one too critical to accept. Any increase to the risk to the integrity of the Deep Creek Hydro dam is plain must not be allowed. Can you imagine?
While we missed the 2016 Shake Out, we may have to put our community calendar for next year if the General Assembly votes to permit fracking in Garrett County. You can start practicing now: drop to the ground, hide under a desk and hold on!