Hialeah, FL -- On Wednesday, local South Florida elected officials, health professionals, scientists and nearly 90 residents came together to discuss the direct health and environmental impacts of fracking. Last week, DEP announced they are seeking a rehearing for the proposed oil well in Broward, recognizing the dangers that oil exploration poses to the Everglades. A recent court approval to drill for oil in the Everglades sparked outrage over the prospect of drilling and fracking in the Everglades near drinking water sources, leading to this panel discussion.
“Hialeah residents get their drinking water from the Biscayne aquifer, which could be compromised from pollution from the proposed oil well in Broward,” said Hialeah City Councilman Paul Hernandez. “I hope the state legislature passes a ban on all forms of fracking this session to ensure fracking can never put our water at risk again.
House Speaker José R. Oliva recently stated that he would vote in support of banning fracking. The panelists discussed the legislation to ban fracking that has been filed in the State Legislature. House Bill 7029 to ban fracking passed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee on February 13th. Panelists called out the loophole present in the bill that would allow fracking using matrix acidizing.
“Fracking pollutes our air and threatens our drinking water,” said Salome Garcia, a representative with Food & Water Watch. “Fracking, especially matrix acidizing, which includes an even higher concentration of chemicals than that of other methods of non-conventional drilling, is a dirty and dangerous technique that would threaten South Florida’s water quality and eco-dependent tourism. Hialeah residents are calling on Speaker José Oliva to support local interests and close all loopholes that would allow fracking to happen in Florida.”
90 cities and counties across the state passed measures against fracking and over 200 business owners, over 100 local elected officials, including 20 in Miami-Dade have signed a letter in support of banning fracking statewide. Support for banning fracking statewide has been mounting for years, and Governor DeSantis issued an executive order in January directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to ‘adamantly oppose hydraulic fracturing’.