I was very pleased to see on the 1st agenda of the 10/11/2012 Ocean City Council meeting a Resolution not to accept toxic, carcinogenic fracking waste from other states. This was a Resolution protecting both the health of NJ citizens and our environment.
It was disappointing to see that this resolution was removed from the updated agenda.
I attended the Assembly Environmental Commission Meeting of 11/28/2011 which heard testimony from ordinary citizens and experts. There were also people from the frocking area in Pennsylvania. As seen in the film Gasland, their testimony was powerful and their concerns to the Commission that NJ should protect its ground water by not allowing storage of this hazardous waste was compelling.
The Texas billionaire Koch brothers were able to get a few people to defend their fossil fuel interests and even 1 member of the Commission to vote their interest. The public interest, however, prevailed and the Resolution passed 1 vote short of being unanimous.
It then went to the NJ Assembly and Senate where it passed in both Houses.
Like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) the Koch Brothers have been able to rally their "astro turf" (distinct from 'grass roots') citizens' group, Americans For Prosperity, to support Governor Christie's veto of Assembly Bill # 575 of 2012.
I was informed by a Councilman that the reason given by Christie for his veto is:
“There is a problem with interstate commerce that needs to be researched.”
This excuse was addressed in the letter of 3/19/2012 from the NJ State Legislature Office of Legislative Services in response to a request by State Senator Bob Smith.The opinion of Legislative Counsel A. Porroni and Lead Counsel J. Horowitz was that Assembly Bill 575 of 2012 "does not violate the commerce clause ....". A copy of this letter is available in the Ocean City Clerk’s Office.
In conclusion this Resolution should be reinstated in the agenda of the next Council Meeting and passed by our City Council. Good public policy should not be sacrificed in the service of the profiteers and politicians. The last thing NJ needs is more toxic sites in our communities.
Steven Fenichel, MD