Fracking by the Numbers: New Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center Report First to Quantify Threat of Gas Drilling

Environment Maryland

Annapolis, MD — Today, a new Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center report called “Fracking by the Numbers” measures the damage being done by dirty drilling across the country. Even as a Maryland state commission is working on guidelines for fracking in the state, the report is the first study of its kind to measure the footprint of fracking damage to date— including toxic wastewater, water use, chemical use, air pollution, land damage and global warming emissions.

“The numbers don’t lie— fracking has taken a dirty and destructive toll on our environment. If fracking is allowed here, this is the kind of damage we will see in Maryland,” said Talya Tavor, Field Associate from Environment Maryland. “In suggesting that some regulatory scheme could make fracking safe, the Commission has vastly underestimated the scale and scope of pollution that comes with this dirty drilling.”

Of particular concern, the report shows that in Pennsylvania 1.2 billion gallons in 2012 and more than 2.5 billion gallons have been produced since the fracking boom began. Often laced with cancer-causing and even radioactive material, toxic fracking waste has contaminated drinking water sources from Pennsylvania to New Mexico.

“We need to protect the people and future generations of Maryland from the threats of Fracking,” said 16th District Delegate, Ariana Kelly.

“The bottom line is this: the numbers on fracking add up to an environmental nightmare,” said Tavor, “For public health and our environment, we need to put a stop to fracking.” 

Shane Robinson, Delegate of Maryland’s 39th District, also spoke out against fracking. “I am worried about what this could mean for my family’s health an safety, should we start fracking in Maryland. The most responsible thing we can do to protect the ones we love is to not frack at all.”

On the federal level, Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania (D-Scranton) introduced the CLEANER Act (H.R. 2825)— a bill to close the loophole exempting oil and gas waste from the nation’s hazardous waste law. 

“Here in Maryland, we can stop the fracking frenzy before it ever starts,” concluded Tavor. “But for places where fracking is already generating billions of gallons of toxic fracking waste and making people sick, it’s time for Washington to step in; officials can start by closing the loophole exempting toxic fracking waste from our nation’s hazardous waste law.”


Environment Maryland is a state-based, citizen-supported, environmental advocacy organization, working towards a cleaner, greener, healthier future.