Environmental Advocates Rally in Westwood
Residents concerned about "fracking" waste gathered outside of Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi's Westwood office as part of a statewide effort to ban the waste in New Jersey.
About two dozen environmental advocates held a rally outside of Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi's Westwood office Wednesday.
The rally was part of a statewide effort to persuade lawmakers to support a ban of waste from hydraulic fracturing. Schepisi (R-Bergen and Passaic) and other legislators already approved the bill banning the waste earlier this year, but Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it, questioning the consitutionality of the law.
The bill would have banned all solid and liquid waste from hydraulic fracturing —commonly called "fracking" — from New Jersey.
Matt Smith, an organizer for Food & Water Watch, said he was skeptical about the governor's reasons for vetoing the bill.
"We believe he's bowing to industry pressure," Smith said.
Residents at the rally said they were concerned about the effects fracking waste could have because of the chemicals involved in the process. Hillsdale resident Sachiko Goodyear said she didn't want her son to have to worry about getting cancer or other diseases that could be caused by substances used in fracking.
"I really don't want fracking waste in my own backyard," Goodyear said.
There is not currently any fracking in New Jersey, but some waste may be transported through the state for treatment. There have also been discussions for a pipeline which would carry the waste through the state.
Residents at the rally, and others like it across the state, hoped to convince the lawmakers to override the governor's veto. Two-thirds of the state senate and state assembly must vote to override in order for the bill to pass again. The bill is not currently on the schedule for voting.
A statement from Schepisi's office after the rally indicated she would likely not vote to override the veto.
"As much as the assemblywoman is a proponent of fiscally responsible environmental solutions, she is a greater proponent of insuring that legislators pass bills that do not violate the U.S. Constitution," Schepisi's staff wrote.