For Immediate Release
Yesterday, the State Senate voted unanimously, 36-0, in favor of a bill (SB 753) that would ban waste from oil and gas drilling across the state.
Food & Water Watch has helped move a grassroots campaign to pass local bans over the past several years, with almost 60 cities and towns passing comprehensive bans on these toxic, radioactive extraction wastes.
The bill has comprehensive definitions for drilling waste, and closes loopholes in the previous moratorium on fracking waste. It creates a permanent ban, except for a small amount of waste allowed solely for research purposes. It is modeled after laws passed in seven New York County Legislatures.
“The Senate is taking sensible action to protect Connecticut residents from an array of health and environmental risks associated with these toxic drilling wastes,” said Food & Water Watch Local Coordinator Jen Siskind. “Other states have experienced serious problems. Waterways and shellfish are now radioactive due to treatment and discharge. Waste spills have seeped into aquifers feeding private drinking water wells. Waste by-products like construction fill that has been found to be unstable, while radioactive, lead-contaminated de-icer has been spread on roads. Now it is up to the General Assembly to vote in favor of a ban, just as they have done in previous years, and give Governor Lamont the opportunity to protect all of Connecticut from this dangerous waste.”
Senator Christine Cohen (D), co-chair of the Senate Environment Committee, said: “Fracking, and the waste associated with the same, has long been known to have detrimental, environmental impacts. We must do all we can to ensure resources, such as our drinking water, are not contaminated. This ban will protect Connecticut’s people, environment, and wildlife from the harmful effects of fracking waste, and I’m thrilled to have seen its unanimous passage out of our chamber. It has been a pleasure working with environmental advocates to get this accomplished and I look forward to seeing its passage in the House.”
Dr. M Saud Anwar (D), Senator for the 3rd District, added: "I am glad that the Senate has taken the right step in making sure that people, including children in our state, are protected from exposure to carcinogens. I am glad that I initiated the process in my town of South Windsor, when serving as a mayor, and today I am honored to be a part of the effort to expand the protection from my town to the entire state.”
“The idea that Connecticut should receive and process fracking waste is totally absurd! This is one of those famous don't-worry-about-it industry promises that invariably cause great harm once the process is underway,” said Richard Harris, Marine Scientist for Norman Bloom and Son LLC, an oyster farming company. “What we face as a state is hundreds of trucks on our roads carrying thousands of gallons of poorly identified and randomly tested waste. No matter how "good" the remediation process is, there will be harmful processed liquids entering our waterways and placing our oyster business in jeopardy. We fully support SB 753!”
“This is long overdue. Fracking waste threatens our water, our soil and our public health,” said Lou Burch of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Now that the Senate has taken action, we are calling on House Members to pass this important legislation and ban oil and gas waste in Connecticut once and for all.”
"In Greenwich, we have spent millions of dollars to remediate contamination in our town. We passed a local ban on fracking waste because we don’t want more contamination in new construction fill or in our road treatments,” said Marija Mikolajczak, a co-founder of Greenwich Conservation Advocates, a citizen action group focused on local water conservation. “There is no reason to allow out-of-state drilling waste or byproducts to be imported into Connecticut. We look forward to the House passing SB 753 so the protection of our local ordinances will be expanded to the entire state.”
"The Collaborative Center for Justice, sponsored by six congregations of Women Religious in Connecticut, has been advocating for years for the passage of a statewide ban on fracking waste,” said Rachel Lee Scott, Associate Director of CCEJ.” As people of faith, we are deeply concerned about caring for human and ecological health. It’s important that this legislation is passed this year. We are pleased to see that the Senate has approved SB 753, and we urge the House to act quickly to pass this bill."
"Fracking is creating a huge amount wastes and byproducts that, in other states, are being inadequately tested, treated and disposed. We thank our Senators for passing this bill, and ask our House Representatives to move quickly to protect CT residents and our natural resources from dangerous fracking waste," said Samantha Dynowski, State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut.
“The Sisters of Mercy have reverence for the Earth, and are working toward the sustainability of all forms of life,” said Sister Cecilia Baranowski, RSM. “Fracking and fracking waste are harmful to Earth and the various forms of life that Earth sustains. I support the ban on fracking and fracking waste.”
“I am a lawyer and town legislator, and I volunteered to analyze the local fracking waste ban proposed to our town meeting in Greenwich. What I learned through my extensive, independent research shocked me: fracking waste is almost wholly unregulated and is frequently radioactive; safe disposal is costly and difficult, and the industry is not profitable enough to undertake safe disposal,” said Allison Walsh, Greenwich RTM member. “The industry therefore has strong financial incentives to move this waste anywhere it can, under cover of darkness, in the form of road salt, de-icing liquid and landfill, and it has in fact put radioactive fracking waste in products that any of us might be able to buy, and in landfills where it was not permitted. I am absolutely convinced that this ban is necessary and the right thing to keep Connecticut’s water, air and land, and our health, safe.”