The good news for the environment is that we only have six more months of Chris Christie in the State House. The bad news is that we are just starting trump’s reign of error on the environment. As the general… Read more
In November, 2012, a Conrail train fell off a bridge in Paulsboro, spilling thousands of gallons of toxic vinyl chloride into Mantua Creek and fumes throughout the surrounding area. At the time, first responders were on the scene without protective gear, and children walked home from school in the toxic cloud. Several lawsuits are pending as a result of that debacle.
Now, Paulsboro is being hit again. Recently, Governor Christie pre-empted an $8.9 billion lawsuit that primarily was concerned with Exxon refineries in North Jersey and unilaterally decided to settle for less than 3 cents on the dollar, leaving taxpayers with the burden to remediate those sites. Adding insult to injury, his administration lumped the Paulsboro refinery and several other polluted sites around the state within the same bounds of that settlement.
Today, a group of environmental activists and Paulsboro citizens gathered next to the Exxon site there to protest the governor’s actions.
Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network explains in the video below. Additional remarks by activists and residents are below the fold:
Several environmental groups held a press conference in Trenton today to announce plans to attempt to override Governor Christie’s veto of a bill banning toxic waste from hydraulic fracturing. Earlier, I posted some comments by Senator Linda Greenstein on this topic. Here’s the press conference in its entirety (about 18 minutes).
If Governor Christie gets his way, New Jersey’s water will soon contain toxic and radioactive materials. That’s because he vetoed a bill that would prohibit the transport and storage of waste water from hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking.”
If you think it can’t happen here, remember the recent accident in Paulsboro where a train full of toxic chemicals fell off of an ill-maintained bridge and displaced dozens of people from their homes for weeks. Now multiply that impact by several orders of magnitude. That’s what’s hanging over the people of New Jersey if the Governor’s veto is not overridden.
Currently, there are no treatment plants in New Jersey that can handle fracking wastewater. Do we want to invest in plants to treat pollutants, or is that money better spent investing in clean energy? The dirty energy lobby has managed to cajole the federal government into not classifying fracking wastewater as something that is handled as hazardous material, so it is up to the state legislature to ensure this garbage does not infiltrate our water supply.
Today in Trenton, a coalition of environmental groups led by the Sierra Club lobbied legislators to override the Governor’s veto. About 20 lobbyists buttonholed approximately half the Assembly members to urge them to override. Later, the leaders of these groups spoke to the press:
How would you like it if your neighbor dumped the waste from his septic tank into your back yard? Well, that’s what Christie’s Cronies are proposing to let happen in New Jersey, and some legislators are working to prevent this.
Energy companies are promoting the use of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, to extract gas and oil from underground deposits. Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water laced with proprietary chemicals into the ground to force the gas and oil out. But the broth that is injected into the earth must go somewhere, and that detritus contains carcinogens and radioactive materials.
The New Jersey legislature banned fracking, but the governor issued a conditional veto which only puts a one year moratorium on the practice in the state. However, states like Pennsylvania and Ohio permit the process, and much of the toxic waste liquid is shipped to the Garden State for disposal.
Today, a coalition of 70 environmental and other organizations held a press conference in Trenton in support of a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Connie Wagner and supported by Assemblyman John McKeon and 15 other co-sponsors that would prohibit the transport and storage of fracking waste in the state. No matter how safe the energy companies claim their processes are, this is a human endeavor and involves accidents. We are endangering New Jersey’s drinking water for the enrichment of the energy barons and out-of-state employers.
While tax relief is at the top of the agenda for everyone in Trenton, if we don’t have clean air and water, no amount of tax relief will make New Jersey a pleasant place to live. That message needs to be sent loud and clear to our leaders in Trenton.