BOSTON (WWLP) - State lawmakers are considering whether to ban natural gas drilling and wastewater treatment in Massachusetts.
Environmentalists say the Connecticut Valley in western Massachusetts has shale gas deposits that could be drilled for natural gas.
They've gathered nearly 12,000 signatures to support legislation that bans natural gas drilling, or fracking, in Massachusetts.
They also want to prevent other states from sending their wastewater, a byproduct of fracking, to the Commonwealth for treatment.
Opponents say the bill is unnecessary because geologic conditions in the Connecticut Valley make it too difficult to drill for gas, so gas companies would never come.
Steve Dodge, Assoc. Director at New England Petroleum Council, told 22News, "I suggest it's part of a larger agenda, not only against hydrofracking, but against fossil fuels, against the expanded use of natural gas, and to force New York to impose a permanent ban on hydrofracking there."
According toe John Rumpler, Attorney for Environment Mass., "If fracking gets booming in other states and all Massachusetts gets is the toxic fracking wastewater, there are no jobs, only pollution."
Environmentalists say natural gas drilling contaminates drinking water and has made people sick in states across the country.
Opponents say the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed there are no ground water contamination cases linked directly to fracking.