[Trenton, NJ] – Today, as New Jersey’s one year moratorium on the dangerous shale gas drilling technique known as "fracking" expires, Environment New Jersey pressed for further action to protect the state’s waterways and environment from this controversial and damaging practice to extract fossil fuels.
“From toxic contamination of drinking water to the destruction of the beautiful places we love – we’ve seen what shale gas drilling has in store for our environment and our communities. To date, we’ve been lucky that New Jersey hasn’t been the guinea pig for these activities like Pennsylvania next door. But we need to take heed of the hard lessons learned by other states and keep shale gas drilling out of New Jersey,” said Environment New Jersey’s clean water associate, Megan Fitzpatrick.
New Jersey need look no further than neighboring Pennsylvania to see how shale gas drilling and the controversial practice known as “fracking” has opened up a Pandora’s Box that has led to a swath of environmental destruction and public health threats.
The gas industry in Pennsylvania has committed 2,700 violations of cornerstone environmental laws in recent months. Their pollution of rivers, streams and groundwater has led to drinking water advisories for hundreds of thousands of residents near Pittsburgh. And in the most egregious cases, drilling companies have been slapped with multi-million dollar fines. There have been explosions, fires, semi-truck safety violations by the thousands, and air pollution. The list goes on and on.
“They say that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. With New Jersey left vulnerable again to this dirty and dangerous drilling practice, it looks like the Garden State is going to learn the hard way unless our leaders in Trenton take action,” said Fitzpatrick.
“Environment New Jersey calls on our leaders in Trenton, including Governor Christie, to avoid repeating the unfortunate history that has played out in Pennsylvania and protect New Jersey’s environment by keeping this dirty and dangerous drilling out of our state now and for generations to come. At the same time, we call on the Delaware River Basin Commission to implement a permanent ban on gas drilling near the Delaware River,” concluded Fitzpatrick.