TRENTON– Activists from a broad coalition of environmental, community, labor and faith-based groups from around the state joined together today at a march and rally at the Statehouse, calling on members of the New Jersey Legislature to put in place protections against toxic fracking waste before representatives leave for the summer break. The Legislature passed a bill last year banning the disposal, treatment, and discharge of waste created through the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas. However the Governor vetoed the bill in September and an override vote is needed to put the ban into effect.
The bill, A575, passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support and the groups are calling on those legislators to vote “yes” a second time to protect drinking water. The march and rally are part of a month of action calling on key legislators to take action now and ban fracking waste before the summer recess. Activists were joined by “Ollie the Oily Ostrich” on the State House steps, urging legislators not to bury their head in the sand to the toxic pollution from fracking waste.
The Rally and March were held just days after the Delaware Riverkeeper released new information about two facilities in New Jersey that have accepted fracking waste in the past. Their research found the Clean Earth Kearney facility took fracking waste so high in radioactivity that it violated their permit and they were issued a Notice of Violation by NJDEP. Records show the Clean Earth Carteret facility also was sent radioactive fracking waste.
“We know that radioactive frack waste containing complex and dangerous chemical hazards has been taken to New Jersey facilities and that some waste was so radioactive it violated one facility’s permit. The Governor’s veto of the Frack Waste Ban Bill must be overridden to close the door on this flow of frack pollution for the sake of our drinking water and communities. The Legislature has the power and responsibility to stop this frack waste dumping – no one else is going to,” said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
“Governor Christie’s silly excuses for vetoing the Fracking Waste Ban Bill prove he has been bought off by the oil and gas industry. Subjecting New Jersey to the toxic fracking leftovers from other states is a public health disaster waiting to happen,” said Jim Walsh, regional director of Food & Water Watch. “Since the governor won’t stand up and protect residents from this danger, we are hopeful that our legislators will, as they did last year.”
There is strong public support for the bill, with thousands of residents contacting the Governor’s office and Legislators. Last week the coalition of organizations supporting the bill delivered 17,000 petitions to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver in support of the override vote.
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