For Immediate Release
TRENTON, NJ - The State Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass S678 today, a bill that would make New Jersey the second state in the country to ban fracking waste.
State lawmakers passed waste ban bills in 2012 and 2014, but the measures were vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.
“For nearly ten years, leaders from the grassroots movement have been fighting for a victory to protect New Jersey from fracking, and it’s because of them that the Senate passed the bill,” said Lena Smith, Policy Advocate and Senior Organizer at Food & Water Watch. “Banning fracking waste will protect our water, and send a message that New Jersey is not a dumping ground for the dirty fracking industry. Now it’s time for the Assembly to move this bill, and get it to Governor Murphy’s desk.”
Advocates for the ban cite the overwhelming evidence that fracking waste poses a threat to public health and drinking water. Millions of gallons of waste material from neighboring Pennsylvania must be disposed or treated, even though most conventional waste facilities are not equipped to adequately treat the chemicals and radioactive material found in fracking waste.
The bi-partisan bill is sponsored by Senator Bob Smith and Senator Christopher Bateman. Senator Weinberg from Bergen County also supported the bill.
“The waste generated by out-of-state fracking has no place in New Jersey waterways or in our soil. Our environment cannot sustain the additional pollution, nor can we expect our residents to take on the additional health costs this kind of dumping would generate,” said Senator Loretta Weinberg.
In contrast to his predecessor, Governor Phil Murphy has spoken out against fracking, both as a candidate and after taking office this year.
"Three times a charm? We trust that the Assembly will follow the Senate’s lead, and once and for all call for a ban on fracking waste in New Jersey. ClimateMama parent advocates from across the state have been working since 2011 to educate legislators and residents about the dangers that fracking waste poses,” said Harriet Shugarman, Founder and Executive Director of ClimateMama. “From infiltrating our water supply, to poisoning our farms, our cities, towns, and children, the risks are real and significant. Fracking waste is found in neighboring states and has entered in seemingly innocuous ways; as a dust suppressant and de-icer, on roads, and as toxic waste sent to treatment facilities. New Jersey isn’t a dumping ground.”
"We applaud the Senate for standing up to protect our health, welfare, and water supplies," said Nancy Hedinger, President of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. "Allowing the discharge or treatment of fracking waste into New Jersey would be irresponsible, dangerous, and costly so we implore the Assembly to follow the Senate's example and act immediately to ban fracking waste in our state."
“Water is life. Water sustains all life, and water needs to be protected for all life with strong public policy and legislation. We applaud and thank the Senate for protecting water in the State of New Jersey from fracking waste, by passing S678 the Ban Fracking Waste Bill. Thank you!” -- Sr. Suzanne Golas, csjp, Director, WATERSPIRIT.
“New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is pleased the legislature is taking up this important bill that will safeguard our clean water and clean air. Our families and businesses deserve to be protected against dangerous toxic waste. If this bill is passed and signed into law, New Jersey will continue its legacy of standing up to big polluters, and we look forward to the day when all toxic fracking waste has no place in New Jersey.” -Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
Advocates point out that New Jersey could be a target for waste dumping in a matter of months. A law passed this summer creates a loophole for the Chemours/DuPont Chamber Works facility in Salem County to seek DEP approval to begin importing hazardous waste from other states.
And the Delaware River Basin Commission faces an imminent decision over whether to allow fracking waste treatment facilities in the watershed.
“With this law, New Jersey will be the first state in the Delaware River Basin to ban fracking waste,” Smith continued, “Passing this law will only help to strengthen the rules and enact a complete ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin.”