Sierra Club Plans 'Fracking' Rally in Westwood
The environmental advocacy group wants to persuade state legislators to override the governor's veto of a bill banning hydraulic fracturing waste.
The Sierra Club is planning to hold one of several rallies Wednesday outside of Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi's Westwood office.
The group hopes to influence legislators like Schepisi (R-Bergen and Passaic) who previously voted for a bill which would ban waste from hydraulic fracturing — a controversial method of extracting subterranean natural gas — earlier this year. The bill passed, but Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it, reportedly because he believed it was unconstitutional.
The bill can still pass if two-thirds of the state assembly and senate vote to override the governor's veto. Sierra Club Chapter Director Jeff Tittel said they hope the rallies will convince legislators to support the bill again.
"We want them to stand up to the governor in protecting us from this toxic waste," Tittel said.
The hydraulic fracturing process, commonly called "fracking," involves flushing water and chemicals into underground cracks to force out natural gas. Groups like the Sierra Club have advocated against fracking because of the chemicals left in the waste water, some of which is not recovered and can flow into drinking water.
There is no fracking in New Jersey, but it is used in Pennsylvania and New York. Tittle said he was concerned the waste could spread via the Delaware River or other sources and cause contamination here.
"It's a real witches' brew of toxic chemicals, and New Jersey has enough of its own pollution," Tittle said. "We don't need anybody else's."
The rally will start at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday outside of Schepisi's office at 287 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood.