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Senator Bob Gordon, D-Bergen, speaks at a Budget Committee meeting in support of his bill to provide flood control funding for Bergen County.

TRENTON A bipartisan bill sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon to prohibit the disposal and treatment of wastewater from the practice of hydraulic fracturing – also known as “fracking” – anywhere within the state was released by a Senate committee today.

Gordon said the bill is necessary to prevent New Jersey from becoming a dumping ground for the hazardous byproducts of hydraulic fracturing. Currently, no fracking takes place within New Jersey, but Marcellus shale formations are being drilled in close-by Pennsylvania and New York.

“The liquids used in fracking are a toxic brew of substances that are dangerous to humans,” said Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic). “We can’t let this wastewater be treated in New Jersey and discharged into our precious waterways, nor should we allow toxic sludge to be dumped into our landfills and potentially contaminate our drinking water.”

In the fracking process, water mixes with as many as 750 different chemicals and is injected under pressure into underground shale beds to release trapped natural gas. The wastewater is then pumped back out of the ground and held for treatment and disposal.

The practice creates billions of gallons of wastewater, which needs to be treated before it is discharged into waterways. Treatment also creates sludge and other solids that can be deposited in landfills.

“If we are accepting wastewater from other states, we are putting our environment, drinking water, and citizens at an unnecessary risk that could potentially cause serious damage,” Gordon said.

The bill cleared the Senate Environmental Committee by a 4-to-1 vote.

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