New Brunswick just became the latest Canadian province to halt all hydraulic fracturing while experts studied the practice's environmental impact.
Lawmakers voted for the one-year moratorium last Thursday. They follow colleagues in Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, not to mention the state of New York, which approved a similar measure in December while it awaits the results of a comprehensive study on fracking.
"It is responsible and prudent to do our due diligence and get more information regarding hydraulic fracturing," New Brunswick Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault said according to Reuters' Dave Sherwood.
The provincial government estimates that its Frederick Brook shale gas play contains more than 77 trillion cubic feet of gas, although the formation is quite thick and only a handful of wells have been drilled so far.
The vote also comes not long after Alberta put in place new measures to control earthquakes deemed to be the result of fracking, and just days after Germany put in place an effective ban on the practice.
"Protecting health and drinking water are top priorities," the country's environment minister said according to Reuters. "For this reason, we want to restrict fracking as far as possible."
Meanwhile, a new study by Johns Hopkins scientists says that they have found rising levels of radon, a radioactive gas, in Pennsylvania homes that appear to correspond to increased levels of natural gas drilling.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.