How to protect Michigan’s environment from fracking
In a state where fracking is the largest energy source, a growing number of residents are questioning whether they can breathe air with the chemicals used to extract the gas.
A state law enacted last year requires local governments to set up and maintain monitoring stations to monitor and document the state’s fracking activity.
The new law also allows local governments the power to ban fracking in certain areas, but the law hasn’t yet been implemented.
In addition to environmental concerns, some residents are concerned that the chemicals are released into the environment.
According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the chemical known as benzene is used in fracking.
While there are no long-term health studies of the benzene exposure, some studies show that benzene can cause asthma and other respiratory problems.
One of the state health department’s primary concerns is that benzenes are stored in water in industrial facilities that can cause groundwater contamination.
In 2013, a bill was introduced to ban the use of benzene in fracking wells.
The bill died in the Michigan Senate, but its reintroduction in the House of Representatives has sparked concerns that the state is moving in the wrong direction in terms of regulating fracking.
Rep. John Todman, D-Canton, introduced a bill in the legislature last month that would ban the practice of fracking and require all wastewater treatment plants to have “environmental controls” in place to limit benzene’s exposure.
“This bill is designed to provide the public with an accurate picture of the environmental impact of fracking,” Todson said in a statement.
“While there is some uncertainty about the long- term health effects of benzenes, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that these chemicals are harmful to the environment or to the human health.”
Todman said he believes that state regulators and residents will have to do more to get fracking banned.
“The question is: Do we want to ban it?”
Todmans statement said.
“There are too many people in the state of Michigan who do not believe it is safe for us to do that.”
As for the fracking ban, Todons office has sent letters to both the Michigan Bureau of Environmental Management and the Michigan Oil and Gas Commission asking them to look into the state bill, but officials have not yet responded.
Michigan is the sixth state to ban hydraulic fracturing, but it’s the first to require a monitoring station to monitor fracking activity, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.