The Dig

The Dig

Fracking and Cove Point

Even though a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracking has recently passed through the Maryland legislature, the gas and oil industry is still building pipeline infrastructure across the state. A hot spot for this activity is the export terminal currently being finalized in Cove Point.

The Dig: Fracking and Cove Point

Leslie Garcia has been a resident in Cove Point since 1980, and describes the terminal there as having been “mothballed” until recently. The facility is now in the process of being turned into an export hub, where it will process and disburse fracked gas from around the United States. Only a few such facilities are being constructed across the country.

Garcia says the permitting process for this transformation felt segmented, and often secretive. Her home is close to the beach, so one of the first developments she noticed was the buildout of a pier near the Cove Point lighthouse.

Residents are currently split around the issue, and Dominion declined to comment for this report. The facility is still undergoing testing and development, so the true impact of its export operations is yet to be determined.

Footage courtesy of: Jon Bowermaster/Oceans 8 Films

Fracking and Cove Point

Natural gas development in Maryland has been a hotly-contested topic for several years. Environment, economics, and public health are often cited as major issues in the debates, even as the Maryland General Assembly passed a ban in March of 2017.

Maryland Public Television presents the details and personal stories behind the subject here, in an effort to clarify the arguments behind the policy.