Friday, March 9, 2018

Florida Legislature Passes Bill that will Harm Drinking Water Quality -- Senate Leaders Kill Fracking Ban

By a vote of 27 to 10, the Florida Senate today approved House Bill 1149, a bill that encourages the injection of reclaimed water into Florida aquifers.   Amendments filed by Senator Gary Farmer to ban fracking and protect water quality were inexplicably withdrawn by Senator Farmer yesterday evening.  The bill was previously passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 86 to 21 and now moves to Governor Rick Scott's desk for his signature or veto.

Statement by Frank Jackalone, Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director:

Floridians need to hold the Florida Legislature accountable for passing a bill (HB 1149) that will harm Florida's aquifers.  It allows millions of gallons of reclaimed water to be pumped daily into the aquifers we all depend on for our drinking water.  Sierra Club thanks the 10 Senators who today voted against this bad bill.  

Senate leaders will need to explain to Florida voters why they wouldn't allow a vote on a fracking ban in Florida.  Fracking for gas and oil poses an extreme danger to Florida's drinking water, and it releases harmful methane gas that harms our health and accelerates global warming.   We are convinced that a majority of the Senate would have voted approval for a fracking ban if Senate President Joe Negron and Senate Appropriations Chair Rob Bradley had allowed Senators to vote on the bill.  

We also regret that Senator Farmer withdrew three amendments to HB 1149 that would have banned fracking in Florida and ensured higher water quality standards in this bill.