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(38th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblywoman Connie Wagner on Tuesday welcomed news that federal environmental regulators are looking into increasing oversight of polluted fracking wastewater, noting she has introduced legislation to ban fracking wastewater from being shipped or transported into New Jersey.
“This is welcome news for everyone concerned about public health and protecting our environment,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “I introduced a bill to ban the polluted wastewater that comes from fracking from being transported into New Jersey or treated here because I’m worried the current standards don’t protect the public. That’s still a worry, but at least federal officials are taking a look at this problem. Hopefully, this will lead to a common sense solution that makes public health and environmental protection a priority.”
Wagner’s legislation (A-4231) prohibits fracking wastewater from being shipped or transported into New Jersey from another state. It also makes clear that fracking wastewater cannot be treated in the state.
Wagner has been a leader in sponsoring legislation to protect New Jerseyans by prohibiting fracking in the state.
Last week, federal environmental regulators announced they will develop national standards for the disposal of polluted wastewaters generated by fracking. Fracking involves pumping water laced with sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to split rocks open, unleashing natural gas.
The briny wastewater can be polluted with pollutants such as radium, benzene, barium and strontium.
Wagner praised EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson for taking this step to protect the public.
“We cannot have this water flushed into rivers or sent to treatment plants that are ill-equipped to remove the contamination,” Wagner said. “We need to be smart and make public health and environmental protection the priority to keep awful materials like this out of our rivers and drinking water.”