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Mobtown Beat

Oh, Frack Water...

A City Council bill would prohibit the Back River Sewage Treatment Plant in Essex from accepting any wastewater from gas well hydrofracturing activities.

Any person who violates the ordinance would be guilty of a misdemeanor, and subject to a $1,000 fine and 90-day prison sentence, according to the bill introduced by James Kraft (1st District).

It’s been more than a year since environmentalists found out that the iconic golden domes were processing frack water, a proprietary chemical stew gas companies use to break up underground shale formations to release natural gas. The Maryland Department of the Environment put a stop to the practice, and the water has been going to Ohio for underground injection.

“My understanding is that disposal of wastewater is not happening in Baltimore anymore,” says the Sierra Club’s David O’Leary, who has testified in Annapolis in favor of the many frack-unfriendly bills that have come up in recent sessions. “The bill would just put more of a framework in place to prevent it from happening.”

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