Pinellas County Florida unanimously votes to ban fracking; Cites harm to environment, air pollution, damage to Floridan Aquifer, health problems as main reasons

Fracking to be banned in Pinellas County after unanimous vote by WFTS Webteam, June 8, 2016, ABCactionnews

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – The collection of gas and oil resources by means of fracking is set to be officially banned in Pinellas County after commissioners voted unanimously on the measure in a recent board meeting.

The decision cites harm to the environment, air pollution, damage to the Floridan Aquifer and other health problems as main reasons to avoid the controversial practice.

“Today, our board solidified a pledge to vigorously protect and preserve Pinellas County’s unique natural resources,” said Commission Chairman Charlie Justice is a written statement. “This vote also reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of current and future generations of Floridians.”

Enforcement and penalties, as well as the full ordinance, can be found on the county website here .

The ordinance goes into effect after a state filing later this month.

It’s official: Pinellas Commission bans fracking, A resolution passed unanimously on Tuesday. by Kate Bradshaw, June 7, 2016, CLtampa

… As has been the case with numerous cities and counties, Pinellas rushed to pass the (somewhat symbolic) ban ahead of the next legislative session, in which lawmakers are once again likely to take up a bill “regulating” (read: legalizing) the practice in Florida while barring local governments from passing such bans.

Their apparent rationale?

Companies are going to come to the state and do it anyway, as one did in Collier County, so they may as well regulate the practice.


… Jennifer Webb, a Democratic candidate who is challenging State Rep. Kathleen Peters for the State House District 69 seat, said, given lawmakers’ apparent indifference to environmental quality on such an issue, local governments are key in passing such protective laws.

“I applaud you for putting our drinking water, our beaches, our health and our environment first, especially since our House of Reps in Tallahassee is not. And it is imperative that our esteemed County Commission acts swiftly,” she said.

Jennifer Rubiello, director of Environment Florida, said not acting now on fracking could be detrimental down the road.

“We live in one of the most beautiful regions in the state and the entire country, and it’s our job to do everything we can to protect it, both for ourselves and for future generations, and fracking simply doesn’t fit into that picture.” [Emphasis added]

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