ORLANDO, FL (FNN News) — Florida State Senator Darren Soto held a press conference Monday at the Orange County Administration Building in Orlando to announce the filing of Senate Bill (SB) 166 to ban hydraulic fracking in the state of Florida.
Joined by State Senator Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, State Representative Victor Manuel Torres Jr., D-Orlando, and Eric Rollings, chairman of the Orange Soil and Water Conservation District, spoke in support of Soto’s anti-fracking legislation, at the press conference.
Concerned by the health and environmental risks fracking poses to the state of Florida, State Senators Darren Soto (D-Orlando) and Dwight Bullard (D-Miami) on Monday filed legislation to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in the Sunshine State. The bill will ban any entities from engaging in hydraulic fracturing, performing well stimulation treatments, and disposing of related materials and byproducts.
“For over a year now we have been advocating to ban fracking in Florida to protect our quality of life, our environment, and our robust tourism industry,” said Sen. Soto. “I am proud to sponsor this fracking ban legislation again to continue the fight on behalf of all Floridians.”
Senator Bullard agreed: “In a day and time when water conservation is at the forefront of discussions both internationally and here at home, Floridians cannot afford to put our water at risk through unproven drilling practices. That’s why I’m proud to stand with Sen. Soto and support the ban on fracking.”
“The Soto/Bullard ‘Ban Fracking Bill’ offers the most significant protection for our water, our quality of life and Florida’s economic and environmental future. We need to stand behind this bill and make it law!” urged Eric Rollings, Chair of the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The upper and lower Floridian Aquifers span the State of Florida and supply the vast majority of its water supply. Any contamination to these bodies of water could put the entire source in jeopardy.
Sen. Soto urged residents across the state to call on their city and county officials to pass an ordinance that would ban fracking at the local level. He also called on them to reach out to their representatives and senators to pass SB 166.
Also, State Representative Evan Jenne, introduce HB 169, which would prohibit “well stimulation treatments,” including hydraulic fracturing, for the exploration and production of oil or natural gas.
The legislation has been filed for the 2016 legislative session which begins in January.