TRENTON – Senator Bob Gordon, Assemblywoman Connie Wagner and Assemblyman-elect Tim Eustace today applauded news that a scheduled Monday vote by the Delaware River Basin Commission to allow the controversial practice of “fracking” to take place along the northern edge of the watershed had been cancelled following an outpouring of citizen concern and the announcement by Delaware’s governor that he would vote against the proposal.
Gordon and Wagner were sponsors of legislation to ban fracking – the process by which chemicals are injected into shale formations to free trapped natural gas – given the myriad concerns over the practice’s potential for polluting the air and groundwater. That measure was vetoed by the governor, who seeks to implement a one-year moratorium on the practice, a move the lawmakers called a meaningless gesture given that it would take at least a year for any proposed well to become operational.
Gordon, Wagner and Eustace (all D-Bergen) released the following joint statement:
“We are pleased that the DRBC called off Monday’s planned vote on fracking. But this issue is not going to go away, and the groundswell of opposition will not cease, unless this issue is tabled permanently.
“When the governor of Delaware sees fit to put his state on-record as opposed to allowing fracking hundreds of miles to the north out of the very real fear that pollutants would flow downstream and impact that state and its residents, it proves that this is not a local issue, but a regional concern. Thousands of New Jerseyans, many of whom would never even see a gas rig, similarly raised their voices knowing that the potentially harmful effects of fracking would not stay in one place, but potentially flow for miles.
“It took decades for the Delaware River to recover from the damage done by years of unchecked industrial pollution and be restored to the natural treasure it is. It would be crazy to undo that progress by allow fracking anywhere in its basin, and letting chemical-polluted streams and storm runoff flow throughout the watershed.
“The DRBC has punted on this vote before. Pushing this vote off to yet another date is not good enough. It’s time for the DRBC to come to the realization that residents in four states do not want fracking to foul the Delaware.”