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Maryland Attorney General Gansler Notifies Chesapeake Energy of the State’s Intent to Sue for Endangering the Health of Citizens and the Environment

May 3, 2011

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler

The Baltimore Sun is reporting in a news story titled “Maryland will sue in Susquehanna tributary ‘fracking’ spill” that the state’s Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler will sue natural gas driller Chesapeake Energy for violating Federal pollution laws.

To read the entire Maryland Attorney General’s “Notice of Intent to Sue” click here.

Selected excerpts from the Maryland Notice of Intent to Sue:

“Companies cannot expose citizens to dangerous chemicals that pose serious health risks to the environment and to public health,” said Attorney General Gansler.  “We are using all resources available to hold Chesapeake Energy accountable for its actions.”

Selected excerpts from the Baltimore Sun article appear below:

“In a ‘notice of intent to sue,’ Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said there was an equipment failure April 19 at a gas well being drilled by Chesapeake Energy Corp. in Leroy Township, in north central Pennsylvania. The failure resulted in ‘loss of control of the well.’

‘Tens of thousands of gallons’ of ‘fracking’ fluid, used to fracture bedrock and release natural gas from the Marcellus Shale deep underground, leaked out and escaped the berm built to contain it, Gansler said. The fluid crossed neighboring farms, then flowed into Towanda Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River.

Gansler told the company the spill ‘may pose … an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of the population adjacent to the well site, recreational users of Towanda Creek and the Susquehanna River and to the environment. …’

The fracking fluid contains hundreds of chemicals, some of them toxic, the attorney general argued, and the spill therefore constitutes a violation of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Water Act.

The Susquehanna provides 45 percent of the fresh water entering the Chesapeake Bay, and supplies drinking water to 6.2 million people. It is a backup source of water to Baltimore City in times of drought.”

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