Moratorium on fracking needed

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:50

    Following the release of a report documenting the dangers of hydraulic fracturing “fracking,” the League of Women Voters of New Jersey has once again called for a moratorium on fracking to ensure that drinking water from the Delaware River basin is not polluted. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey strongly urges thoughtful consideration and implores the Commission to wait until the scientific results of the EPA study are published, reviewed and understood before finalizing regulations or issuing permits. On Dec. 8, the U.S. EPA released an official report which states that harmful chemicals consistent with fracking were found in a drinking water aquifer in west-central Wyoming. This disturbing report forewarns of health and life safety dangers that simply cannot be ignored. As a result of these EPA findings, League of Women Voters of New Jersey President Toni Zimmer sent a letter to Governor Chris Christie urging him to use his influence as a member of the Delaware River Basin Commission to make sure that fracking regulations are not adopted until they can be based on sound science. Any decision the Delaware River Basin Commission makes should await the results of a study currently being made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. With one third of New Jersey’s population relying on the Delaware River Basin for drinking water, Zimmer called on the governor “to consider the danger to health and the environment” from fracking. She asked him to “please consider the effects of the fracking process on residents of Pavilion, Wyoming,” where the EPA found the tainted water and also asked that any “advocacy efforts from industry or special interests to lift the moratorium be ignored and rebuked” because “the industry that stands to gain by lifting the moratorium should not be allowed to compromise an evaluation process designed to protect the interests of the public.” “Men, women and children drank innocently - and with trust - from an aquifer harmfully impacted by the introduction of hydrofracking chemicals,” Zimmer wrote. “If there is even the slightest chance of a similar outcome occurring in New Jersey, we must insist that the moratorium on hydrofracking remain imposed absent sound scientific evidence there are no health and life safety concerns.” Commenting on draft regulations already issued by the DRBC, Zimmer pointed out that the more than 69,800 comments submitted when these were released “speak volumes about public concern and mitigate against a 'rush to judgment’ approach.” The public has clearly voiced that the Delaware River Basin Commission should follow their mission and protect the Delaware River Basin for present and future generations. Jesse Burns Director of Communications League of Women Voters of New Jersey