Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Mass. Senate Passes 10-Year Fracking Moratorium

Boston, MA. -

The Massachusetts Senate approved a bill yesterday to place a ten-year moratorium on fracking and the disposal of fracking wastewater in the Commonwealth.

“Across the country, fracking is polluting drinking water and making families sick,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “We applaud Senate leaders for taking steps to ensure this dirty drilling and its toxic waste never come to Massachusetts.”

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method of drilling that involves injecting millions of gallons of water, often laced with toxic chemicals, deep underground to fracture rock formations and release oil and gas.

In a single year, fracking across the country produced at least 14 billion gallons of wastewater containing toxic and often radioactive elements -- wastewater for which there is no known failsafe disposal or treatment method.

Although fracking is not currently happening in Massachusetts, the Hartford Shale, a rock formation under the Connecticut River Valley, may contain deposits of gas suitable for drilling.

“The harm caused by fracking has no place in Massachusetts,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco. “Fracking releases harmful chemicals into our air while contaminating fresh groundwater, causing seismic events, flaring methane and severely harming public health." 

A growing number of documented cases show individuals suffering acute and chronic health effects while living near fracking operations — including nausea, rashes, dizziness, headaches and nose bleeds. Additionally, methane leaks from fracking wells and associated infrastructure are a significant source of global warming pollution.

“When an industry group held a seminar a few years back about fracking in the Hartford Basin, I immediately filed a bill to prevent this activity,” said Representative Denise Provost. “The Connecticut River Valley is heavily dependent on well water, and its surface waters provide much of the drinking water for Greater Boston. A fracking ban is essential to protect our irreplaceable water resources.”

More than 1,000 health professionals have called on state and federal officials to protect the public from the harms posed by fracking.

“Massachusetts has long been a leader when it comes to promoting clean energy and stopping global warming. A ban on fracking is a great way to continue our record of leadership,” said Hellerstein. “Now, it’s up to the House and Governor Baker to finish the job.”

If the senate-passed bill becomes law, Massachusetts would become the latest along the East Coast to restrict the dirty drilling practice. Vermont and New York have banned fracking, and Maryland has enacted a moratorium of its own. 

"Fracking has been a rolling environmental disaster across the country, poisoning waterways and marring landscapes," said Rachel Richardson, Stop Drilling Program director for Environment America, the national federation of Environment Massachusetts. "We're glad to see Massachusetts take steps to avoid fracking's destruction, and we hope more states will follow suit."

###

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We’re a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

Patient Group Targets Pair of Democrats for 'Selling Us Out to Drug Companies'

"It makes me so angry that members of Congress are choosing Big Pharma over patients. It's unforgivable."

Jake Johnson ·


Judge Blocks Biden From Continuing 'Inhumane' Trump Policy to Deport Families

"This is not the end of the battle against this practice," said one rights group, "but it is a major step to ensure that the U.S. welcomes these asylum-seeking families—as we should."

Jessica Corbett ·


400+ Economists Press Congress to Permanently Expand Child Tax Credit

Such an expansion would "dramatically reduce childhood poverty in the United States," they said.

Andrea Germanos ·


Biden Admin. Sued for Letting Big Oil Harass 'Imperiled' Polar Bears

"We're hopeful the court will overturn this dangerous rule that puts polar bears in the crosshairs."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Cruel and Callous': Biden Slammed for Resuming Deportations to Battered Haiti

"Hours after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, President Joe Biden released a statement saying that the United States was a 'friend' of Haiti. A 'friend' does not continuously inflict pain on another friend," said Guerline Jozef of the Haitian Bridge Alliance.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo