Assemblywoman CONNIE WAGNER
District 38 (Bergen)
Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA
District 15 (Mercer)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman HERB CONAWAY, JR.
District 7 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblymen Caputo, Mainor, Prieto, Conners, P. Barnes, III and Assemblywoman Stender
Establishes moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for purpose of natural gas exploration or production until certain conditions are met.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on March 7, 2011, with amendments.
An Act establishing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and supplementing Title 13 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature finds and declares that the practice of the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas exploration and production has been found to use a variety of contaminating chemicals and materials that can suddenly and in an uncontrolled manner be introduced into the surface waters and ground water of the State; that the companies engaging in the use of this drilling technique have been less than forthcoming in revealing the “cocktail” of chemicals and their volume that can be introduced into these waters; that in June 2010, there occurred an incident of an uncontrolled release of many gallons of contaminated water and natural gas from a hydraulic fracturing drill site in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, and other such accidents are likely to occur; that the concerns surrounding this drilling practice and its potentially harmful environmental effects have led the United States Environmental Protection Agency to undertake a study of hydraulic fracturing, the techniques and materials employed in its implementation, and the environmental impact of these practices, techniques and materials; and that the study is projected to be completed in 2012.
The Legislature therefore determines it is prudent and in the best interest of the people of the State of New Jersey to establish a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing in the State for the purpose of natural gas exploration or production until the United States Environmental Protection Agency concludes its study and issues its findings on that drilling practice, and the Department of Environmental Protection determines that the findings warrant an end to the moratorium.
2. a. No person may use the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing in the State for the purpose of natural gas exploration or production until the United States Environmental Protection Agency concludes its study of hydraulic fracturing, the techniques and materials employed in its use, and the environmental impact of these practices, techniques and materials, and issues its findings.
b. 1(1)1 The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall obtain a copy of the United States Environmental Protection Agency study and its findings, and determine if the findings warrant an end to the moratorium. The commissioner shall issue a determination 1, in writing1 , upon the issuance of which the moratorium shall end or the moratorium shall be continued, as specified in the determination.
1(2) Upon issuing the determination pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the commissioner shall publish the determination prominently on the Internet website of the Department of Environmental Protection and provide a copy of the determination to the Legislature, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).1
c. As used in this act, “hydraulic fracturing” means the drilling technique of expanding existing fractures or creating new fractures in rock by injecting water, often with chemicals, sand, or other substances, and often under pressure, into or underneath the surface of the rock for purposes including, but not necessarily limited to, well drilling and natural gas exploration and production. The term “hydraulic fracturing” shall include “fracking,” “hydrofracking,” “hydrofracturing,” and other colloquial terms for this drilling technique.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.