Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a statewide fracking ban yesterday (April 4) after years of environmental organizing in the state.
The extraction process involves injecting water mixed with sand and chemicals into the ground to help release natural gas and oil hidden underneath. Now, companies will have to look outside of Maryland to access fossil fuel reserves.
Hogan’s signing of HB 1325 follows Senate approval last week, on March 28, with a 35 to 10 vote. Two years ago, state assembly members also passed a moratorium that temporarily halted the practice until 2018 to further study its environmental impacts.
This makes Maryland the third state to ban fracking—following New York and Vermont—but it is the first one with gas reserves to place a ban.
“With Governor Hogan’s signature, Marylanders can feel safe knowing their air, their water, and their health will now be protected from the inherent dangers of fracking,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, in a statement, per ThinkProgress. “Governor Hogan’s opposition to fracking demonstrates that matters of public health and our environment need not be partisan.”