TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) is urging the Delaware River Basin Commission to approve a permanent ban on fracking in the basin, following reports that the commission could vote on the matter this week.
“If we allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin, 17 million people could be exposed to contaminated water. There is too much uncertainty at the federal level right now to allow the temporary ban to expire without putting our own permanent protections in place immediately,” Bateman said.
“I believe that ignoring the safety and environmental concerns surrounding fracking in sensitive areas like the basin is completely irresponsible. I’m not willing to stay silent and allow oil and gas companies to come here and put our families at risk," he added.
“The commission has a responsibility to protect the increasingly fragile natural resources we rely on from pollution. It can start by immediately voting ‘yes’ on a permanent ban on fracking in the basin. It’s the right thing to do,” Bateman said.
The Delaware River Basin supplies water to parts of the Mercer County region in New Jersey, as well as areas of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. The commission, which is made up of representatives from all four states, in 2010 enacted a 7-year temporary moratorium on fracking within its jurisdiction. The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Bateman has consistently backed anti-fracking and anti-pipeline efforts throughout the Central New Jersey region. He has spoken out in opposition of the Penn-East Pipeline and the Central Jersey Natural Gas Compressor Project.