Florida Senate committee to take another look at fracking bill

A bill to make way for fracking in Florida will be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday, March 1, a week after the committee voted against it but left the option open to consider it again.

Opponents have expressed concerns that the method could contaminate Florida’s drinking water.

“That’s like one of the natural resources you can’t get. Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Jacksonville resident Linda Siple said. “You have to have clean water and you can’t survive without, so it makes you nervous when people are going to mess with it.”

Hydraulic fracking is a system that uses sand, water and chemicals to drill into wells to access natural gas to be used for energy.

Some environmental experts said there are concerns about contaminants that may end up in the water supply.

“They’re contaminants so they can have environmental issues from that which may for example in the case of Florida, lead to contamination of our aquifer system,” Dr. Raymond Russo, UF Associate Professor of Geological Sciences, said.

Russo said he believes more research needs to be done to identify any potential hazards to human and environmental health before fracking gets underway in Florida.

“The uncertainties are great and I’d say before anybody goes ahead and does anything like that, there ought to be lots of studies in advance to say that it can be done actually safely without contaminating our aquifer system,” Russo said.

Supporters of fracking have said they believe the method can be done safely in Florida.

The Florida House has already passed a similar bill.