New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Takes the Lead for Clean Water

From the Organizations Working for the Complete Fracking Ban

 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Takes the Lead for Clean Water


Governor calls for Ban on Fracking throughout the Delaware River Basin including a ban on Frack Wastewater Discharges

and Water Withdrawals for Fracking

 

Trenton, New Jersey – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today that he will cast a vote as the Chairman of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) in support of a watershed-wide permanent ban on fracking and its associated activities, including a ban of wastewater storage, processing and discharges in the Basin, and a ban on water exports from the watershed to fuel fracking elsewhere. See Governor Murphy’s letter here: https://nj.gov/governor/news/docs/20190128_Letter-DRBCProposeRules-HVHF.pdf  See the Governor’s Press Release here: https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562019/approved/20190130b.shtml

“Governor Murphy is taking the lead to protect New Jersey residents, our water supply and the Delaware River by pledging his vote for the Delaware River Basin Commission to ban fracking, including banning the discharge of wastewater produced by fracking and the withdrawal of the River’s water for fueling fracking elsewhere. This is the no-nonsense approach we critically need to prevent the inevitable degradation and pollution that fracking’s activities would bring to our Watershed and it’s coming just in time. As the chairman of the DRBC, Governor Murphy is showing true environmental leadership”, said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

“Banning all fracking related activity is a huge win for the environment and our economy. Thanks to Governor Murphy for using his leadership to protect the Delaware Basin water supplies and pushing for green jobs. Now it’s the other three governors’ turns!” said Eric Benson, NJ Campaign Director, Clean Water Action.

“Governor Murphy is taking a stand to protect the Delaware River watershed by telling the DRBC its fracking regulations need to be strengthened to ensure fracking, fracking waste, water withdrawals for fracking and its activities never despoil the Delaware River watershed. Gov. Christie actively worked to promote fracking along our borders, and we are proud Governor Murphy is telling our neighboring states we need an outright ban on fracking and its activities in the watershed. We thank the Governor for standing up for the drinking water source of more than 3 million New Jersey residents,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.

“This is a great victory for protecting the Delaware River Basing and the 17 million people who get drinking water from it. The Governor has come out for a complete ban on fracking including fracking waste and taking water out the Basin. This is a real win for the environment. The people of the Delaware River Valley want to be protected from all forms of fracking, including the contaminated waste that comes from it,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “New Jersey leads on banning fracking and dumping of fracking waste in the DRBC. Now we need to get other Governors to go along like New York and Delaware and stand up to that Fossil Fool in the White House.”

“Today Governor Murphy has shown us great leadership. There is great wisdom in protecting millions of peoples’ drinking water. There is great wisdom in protecting the river valley and all of the communities from the extreme impacts that oil and gas drilling waste water and water withdrawals would bring here. We hope that Governor Cuomo and the other governors will now step up and see that same wisdom in protecting the Basin and enact a complete ban on all fracking related activities. That would be a day to celebrate,” said Wes Gillingham, Associate Director, Catskill Mountainkeeper”

 

“Governor Murphy has spoken eloquently and forcefully about the need to protect the Delaware River basin from toxic fracking waste, and now he has taken action,” said Food & Water Watch Senior Organizer Matt Smith. “A full ban on fracking is within reach. We don’t want fracking in the Delaware River basin, we don’t want fracking companies taking water for drilling, and we don’t want toxic fracking waste dumped here. Murphy has shown the leadership and courage to make this a reality—now it’s time for other governors to follow.”

“Governor Murphy has taken a courageous stand to defend the drinking water source for over 17 million Americans,” said Kimberly Ong, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council. “A full ban will protect people’s health from toxic wastewater and preserve the region’s freshwater supplies, so the industry cannot drain them to frack in other parts of the country. We now look to the other governors represented on the Delaware River Basin Commission to follow New Jersey’s lead.”

“Gov. Murphy is to be commended for following through on his campaign promise – he is leading New Jersey and the Delaware Basin into the future by protecting clean water, air, land and our health!” said Barbara Arrindell, Director, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability.

“We applaud Governor Murphy’s decision to oppose all fracking-related activities. Only a complete ban will protect the entire Delaware River Basin and safeguard the economic benefits the River brings to Delaware,” said Coralie Pryde, Delaware Sierra Club.

“Governor Murphy has taken action, based on sound science and a precautionary approach, to prohibit in the Delaware River Basin fracking, frack wastewater discharges and water withdrawals for fracking, showing his commitment to clean water and demonstrating the backbone we need from his environmental leadership at the DRBC. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of the Delaware River that will define the Watershed, its drinking water quality, and its habitats as we approach the vote by the Delaware River Basin Commission on its proposed ban and draft regulations on fracking. If reason and the public will prevails, all four of the Governors will vote for the full ban to protect our health and future – we call on them to do so,” said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

Public controversy has raged over the last year with over 100,000 petitions submitted to the Governors of the 4 states that are part of the Delaware River Basin and tens of thousands of people submitting comments calling for a complete ban on all aspects of fracking.  In November 2017, the DRBC proposed draft regulations to ban hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in the Delaware River Basin but allow the storage, processing, and discharge of wastewater produced by fracking and allow water withdrawals from the watershed for fracking operations outside the basin.  The DRBC is expected to vote in the coming months on the proposals.

Organizations working for the past 8 years to transform the temporary moratorium on drilling and fracking in the Basin into a permanent ban immediately joined Governor Murphy’s appeal for the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware to pledge support for a “yes” vote for the watershed-wide ban on fracking and a “no” vote on the proposed draft natural gas regulations that would allow fracking wastewater and water withdrawals for fracking, instead voting to ban all of these fracking-related activities.

The public and organizations committed to achieving a complete ban have long expressed that the Delaware River Basin, the source of water for at least 15 million people, and a nationally treasured Wild and Scenic River, cannot be put at risk by the damaging and polluting industrial processes of fracking.  The DRBC, a powerful interstate institution responsible for the management of the water resources of the watershed since the 1960’s, is governed by the Governors of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers representing the federal Administration.  A vote of the majority of the 5 members will decide the fate of the proposed natural gas regulations.

In addition to voluminous comments submitted by the public during the DRBC’s comment period on the proposals, detailing the unsolvable environmental problems caused by fracking, recent developments such as the EPA’s report on the high toxicity of waste produced by fracking, the Trump Administration’s movement to relax frack waste disposal regulations along with other federal environmental protections such as rolling back the nation’s landmark “Clean Water Rule”, new information about the secret chemicals in frack fluids and waste, and recent scientific reports with dire warnings about climate change – which is worsened by methane released by fracking – provide the context as the vote on the regulations approaches.

In New Jersey, Governor Murphy pledged his opposition to fracking in the Basin shortly after taking office last year at a press conference on the banks of the Delaware River and promised he would study the ramifications of allowing fracking wastewater and water withdrawals.  New Jersey’s Senate passed SCR150 urging the Governor to oppose the DRBC proposed language that would allow the disposal of fracking waste in the Delaware River Watershed and would allow the withdrawal of water for fracking because of the potential impacts on drinking water for 2.9 million New Jersey residents and the threats to the river and its irreplaceable natural, recreational and economic values.

 

Delaware River Frack Ban Coalition Organizing Committee

(Alphabetical order)

Catskill Mountainkeeper

Clean Water Action NJ

Damascus Citizens for Sustainability

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Delaware Sierra Club

Environment New Jersey

Food and Water Watch

Natural Resources Defense Council

New Jersey Sierra Club

Organizations that submitted over 100,000 Petitions in December 2018

Berks Gas Truth

Bucks Environmental Action

Catskill Mountainkeeper

Clean Water Action NJ

CREDO

Damascus Citizens for Sustainability

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Delaware Sierra Club

Environment New Jersey

Food and Water Watch

Natural Resources Defense Council

NJ Sierra Club

Pennsylvania Chapter Sierra Club

Pennsylvania Chapter Sierra Club

Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter

Think Ocean Delaware

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