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On the Eve of Governor’s Decision on Fracking Waste Ban, Environment New Jersey Report Documents the Cost of Fracking

For Immediate Release

Trenton – Firing a new salvo in the ongoing debate over the gas drilling practice known as fracking,  Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center today released a report documenting a wide range of dollars and cents costs imposed by dirty drilling.  As documented in "The Cost of Fracking," fracking creates millions of dollars of health costs related to everything from air pollution to ruined roads to contaminated property.   

“Fracking’s environmental damage is bad enough, but it turns out that this dirty drilling imposes heavy dollar and cents costs as well,” said Doug O’Malley, interim director with Environment New Jersey.  “This is all the more reason we must keep New Jersey free from the impacts of fracking and its waste.”

While the report documents a wide range of costs imposed by fracking, Environment New Jersey is particularly concerned about the impact of fracking waste on New Jersey’s waterways.

“We have known for quite some time that ‘fracking’ poses a very real threat to our health and wellbeing in New Jersey, but this report underscores the very real threat ‘fracking’ poses to our wallets,” said Senator Bob Gordon (D-Bergen and Passaic Counties). “Natural gas is often lauded as a cheap, accessible source of energy. But we cannot ignore the harmful environmental and financial consequences associated with using hydraulic fracturing. The costs and lasting effects of contaminated drinking water and soil, destruction of natural resources and degradation of public infrastructure are all too often left to governments and taxpayers to bear. This state cannot afford to clean up yet another industrial energy boom that has turned into an environmental and public health debacle.”

Fracking operations contaminate drinking water sources in many ways – from spills to leaking waste pits to methane from drilling itself. In Dimock, Pennsylvania, fracking operations contaminated the drinking water wells of several households for roughly three years, perhaps more.  Just providing 14 of those families with temporary water cost more than $100,000.   Providing a permanent new source of clean drinking water would have cost an estimated $11.8 million.

“Fracking waste does not belong anywhere near New Jersey’s waterways, and we shouldn’t be a dumping ground for gas drillers,” said Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro). “This should be an easy call for any decision-maker, including Gov. Christie.”