Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anti-fracking bill before NJ Assembly committee today

The New Jersey Assembly's Environment and 
Solid Waste Committee this afternoon will vote 
on six energy and environmental bills, including 
one that would prohibit the treatment of fracking 
wastewater anywhere in New Jersey.

A-4231, sponsored by Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) and Reed Gusciora 
(D-Mercer), the bill would prohibit the shipping or transporting into, or treatment in
the State of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (fracking). A companion measure, S-3049, 
awaits action in the Senate Environment Committee.    

The Legislature already has approved legislation that would ban the use of fracking, a
controversial natural gas-drilling technique, but Governor Chris Christie says he will not sign
the bill unless it is amended to apply for only one year. [Governor's conditional veto message]

Although gas companies have shown no interest in drilling in New Jersey so far (the
Marcellus Shale formation lies under neighboring Pennsylvania and New York states)
environmentalists here have made fracking an the issue, calling on Gov. Christie to vote
by the regional Delaware River Basin Commission.

Other bills to be heard by the Environment and Solid Waste Committee today 
at 2 p.m. in Committee Room 9 of the  State House Annex in Trenton are:

A-1102  Coyle, D.M. (R-16)
Provides for priority consideration, by DCA, DEP, DOT, and local government units, of permit applications for green building projects.
A-4267  Wagner, C. (D-38); Pietro, V. (D-32)
Allows counties and municipalities to use open space trust funds for purchase of flood-prone properties.  Related Bill: S-3078
A-4269  Wagner, C. (D-38)
"Emergency Transportation and Water Infrastructure Recovery Bond Act of 2011;" authorizes bonds for $100,000,000.  Related Bill: S-3099
A-4279  McKeon, J.F. (D-27); Chivukula, U.J. (D-17); Benson, D.R. (D-14)
Increases renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements under "Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act."  Related Bill: S-3032
A-4358  McKeon, J.F. (D-27)
Establishes forest harvest program on State-owned land.

Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee also meeting today.  

The Agriculture committee, meeting at 2 p.m. in Room 8, plans to take up:

A-2770  Amodeo, J.F. (R-2); Albano, N.T. (D-1)
Transfers the Division of Fish and Wildlife (currently within the state Department of Environmental Protection to the Department of Agriculture.
A-3387  Riley, C.M. (D-3)
Expands number of salesrooms winery may operate from six to seven and permits sampling of wine at salesrooms.
A-3388  Riley, C.M. (D-3)
Permits wineries to sell wine at certain farm markets.
AR-168  Albano, N.T. (D-1)
Urges USDA and other federal agencies to support State efforts and fund solutions that reduce or eliminate the stink bug population.


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