Following several years of debate and a vigorous campaign this year by various citizen and environmental/health groups, a bill banning fracking in the State of Maryland is only one step away from becoming law. Yesterday (Monday, March 27), the state Senate passed-by a vote of 35 to 10-House Bill (HB) 1325, previously passed in the House by a 97 to 40 majority. The bill will be forwarded to Governor Hogan for his signature. Despite often-stated concerns about the Governor vetoing such a bill, he announced on St. Patrick's Day-to the surprise of many-that he would support a ban, expressing the sentiment that risks to the environment and public health are too great. The formal signing is expected to occur shortly after the 10 April end of the 2017 MD General Assembly session. Maryland now joins only two other states, Vermont and New York, to ban fracking.