Environment New Jersey
In the latest state action against fracking, the New Jersey Assembly approved a measure to ban the processing of fracking wastewater. Environment New Jersey and its allies stepped up efforts to build support for Assemblywoman Connie Wagner’s bill after learning that fracking waste had already been shipped to New Jersey and discharged into the Delaware via a DuPont facility in Salem County. Legislators approved the bill (A575) by a veto-proof majority of 56-19.
“Toxic waste from fracking should not be allowed anywhere near New Jersey’s waterways,” said Doug O’Malley, interim director of Environment New Jersey. “The New Jersey Assembly chose drinking water over gas drillers today.”
Fracking is a gas drilling technique that involves pumping a mix of chemicals, sand and water down a well at such high pressure that it cracks open gas-bearing rock formations. When the process is complete, wastewater–often laced with toxics like benzene, heavy metals and even radioactive material-flows back to the surface. Fracking wastewater has contaminated drinking water sources on numerous occasions in other states.
The gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania has already produced more than 1.3 billion gallons of contaminated wastewater, and drilling operators have been increasingly sending that wastewater to surrounding states. In New Jersey DuPont has processed the waste at a facility which discharges into the Delaware River.
“Fracking is the latest source of toxic waste,” said O’Malley. “That is the last thing New Jersey needs.”
Environment New Jersey cited documented cases of fracking waste polluting water and causing other problems:
In Pennsylvania, after fracking wastewater was discharged from sewage treatment plants into the Monongahela River, the state advised 325,000 people in and around Pittsburgh not to use their tap water for more than a week.
In New Mexico, state records show drilling waste has contaminated groundwater at nearly 400 different sites.
BAN IT! The liability is enormous and sadly someday, some community, somewhere, will drink the toxic kool-aid. Then what? Will we say: 'We told you so?" Who will be liable for the catastrophe? We'd bet anything that the oil and gas industry will be completely indemnified over a disaster like this.
This industry is sick!