Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday signed a bill establishing a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the state.
Hogan’s signature comes after the state’s Legislature passed the fracking ban last week. Maryland is now only the second state in the country to ban fracking, after New York established a similar ban in 2015.
Hogan’s signature is a victory for groups that fought for a fracking ban in Maryland.
The state doesn’t currently host any fracking sites. But the drilling industry has eyed the state’s portion of the Marcellus Shale formation as a potential location for fracking in the future.
The oil and gas sector dismissed last week’s legislative vote as “politically motivated” and said it would prevent an economic revival in the western reaches of Maryland.
But anti-fracking advocates celebrated the move as one designed to protect public health and the environment.
Hogan agreed with that viewpoint when he announced in March that he would support a fracking ban.
“The possible environmental risks of fracking simply outweigh any potential benefits,” Hogan said then, calling the bill in the Democratically controlled Legislature an “important initiative to safeguard our environment.”
He added, “Protecting our clean water supply and our natural resources is critically important to Marylanders, and we simply cannot allow the door to be open for fracking in our state.”