MAYOR BOLLWAGE SUPPORTS BAN ON FRACKING WASTE IN ELIZABETH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Vence
908-820-4124
Public Information Office
 
MAYOR BOLLWAGE SUPPORTS BAN ON FRACKING WASTE IN ELIZABETH
(Ordinance to prohibit treatment, discharge, disposal, storage or other byproducts associated with fracking)
 
 
ELIZABETH, NJ—August 19, 2014 - As one of at least three New Jersey municipalities identified as receiving fracking waste, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage is taking steps to safeguard the residents, environment and natural resources within his community from potential negative effects.  An ordinance that will establish a chapter within the City Code prohibiting the treatment, discharge, disposal, storage or other byproducts from natural gas exploration or production using hydraulic  fracturing, will be submitted for consideration to the Elizabeth City Council.
 
"Fracking has been known to disrupt the environmental balance, with possible adverse impacts resulting from byproducts and toxins released during the process," said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage.  "By choosing to defend commerce over taxpayers' health, Governor Christie vetoed the ban on fracking waste at the state level.  Now cities and towns must take the lead by placing the safety and well-being of their residents first.  This ordinance will provide the protection our community deserves."
 
Hydraulic fracking, commonly referred to as fracking, is the drilling technique for natural gas exploration using water mixed with chemicals and solids into shale formations at high pressure.  High concentrations of these solids, which may include among others, calcium, nitrates and copper, can interfere with the wastewater treatment process, creating interruptions and interference. These solids, combined with the interaction of heavy metals and the action of fracturing, can result in possible hazardous conditions.
 
In addition to the repercussions of fracking, the disposal of the waste generated can be just as harmful. Treating fracking waste can introduce contaminants into the environment through the discharge of toxins into the soil and waterways. In addition to these harmful effects, rectifying the impacts of fracking is expensive. Therefore this ordinance, which will take effect twenty days after its final passage by the Elizabeth City Council, also includes an enforcement clause.
 
In the event that an individual or company is found engaging in the treatment, discharge, disposal or storage of fracking waste within the City of Elizabeth, an ordinance violation will be issued and offenders will have to appear within municipal court. If the party or parties are found guilty by a court of law, the ordinance calls for penalties to be paid to the City in amounts ranging from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $10,000. 
 
"When the cost of fracking outweighs the benefits, public officials need to do what is right and stand up for the rights of their constituents," said Councilman Carlos Torres.  "The City of Elizabeth is not a dumping ground for fracking waste or anything else and will incorporate safeguards to ensure that this practice will not continue to happen."