TRENTON, N.J. — Lawmakers on Thursday approved legislation banning hydraulic fracturing byproducts from other states from entering New Jersey, citing concerns about waste from neighboring Pennsylvania endangering public health and the environment in the Garden State.
The Assembly’s Environment Committee voted 5-1 for the measure, which now heads to the full Assembly. The Senate’s Environment Committee approved a similar measure last week and voted earlier this year to ban the practice, which involves blasting chemical-laced water deep into the ground.
The measure specifically bans in New Jersey the treatment, discharge, disposal or storage of any wastewater, wastewater solids, sludge, drill cuttings or other byproducts of the practice, also called fracking, in any state.
Environmental groups rallied in front of the Statehouse earlier in the day against fracking, saying the process and its byproducts are dangerous. Speakers said they want lawmakers to focus on clean energy and stop Republican Gov. Chris Christie from diverting $279 million from the state’s clean energy fund to balance the state budget.