Vermont Press Releases

Vermont Legislature passes prohibition on “fracking”

For immediate release
May 4, 2012

Jordan Gonda, VNRC, 814-777-0152 or [email protected]

Action is First in the Nation

Montpelier, Vt — Vermont lawmakers have approved legislation prohibiting hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in the state of Vermont.

“Smart, prudent and protective, that’s what this is,” said Jordan Gonda, a spokesperson for VNRC who tracked the bill closely and testified in support of it.

Gonda noted that lawmakers took significant testimony on this issue and had wisely decided to prohibit this environmentally risky practice in Vermont. Lawmakers had considered a three-year moratorium on the practice, but ultimately opted for a prohibition.

Vermont is the first state in the nation to approve an outright ban on fracking.

Gonda noted that a future legislature could lift the prohibition if lawmakers felt the industry has shown the practice to be safe.

“There is nothing barring the gas industry from coming to the legislature any time and lobbying to lift the prohibition,” she said.

The bill also bans the storage, collection or treatment of fracking waste in Vermont.

Fracking involves forcing a mixture of chemicals, significant amounts of water and sand into bedrock to create fissures and release natural gas. The practice, which has been only lightly regulated in many other states, has contaminated groundwater and increased air pollution. There are also issues related to the disposal of used fracking water that is laced with chemicals and brine. Additionally, recent studies have shown a possible association between fracking wells and the frequency of earthquakes.

Two-thirds of Vermonters get their drinking water from groundwater sources.

The bill, H.464, got final legislative approval on May 4. The bill now heads to Gov. Shumlin’s desk.

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  • Bill Lawrence

    Doesn’t the vermont Legislature know that there are no fracking opportunities in the state….what a waste of time spent on this…..they really need to have time management classes for the legislature….as if this was a priority.

  • Paula Schramm

    There is possible fracking territory in Northwestern Vermont… Franklin County, where I live. I’m glad they took the time to research this and make a smart decision that keeps us citizens from having to deal one on one with gas developers. It also makes a statement that is helpful to all the states surrounding us that do have great gas development potential.

    Legislatures CAN insist on good studies, thorough research and a high standard of safety and transparency BEFORE the developers move in with a questionable technology. You CAN put people’s health and the health of our water ways first !

  • Mike Curtis

    If there are no fracking opportunities in Vermont, why did the American Petroleum Institute send lobbyists to Montpelier to oppose the legislation?

    Clearly they see some potential here.

  • Sandra Bettis

    yes, you never know what will happen down the road….