Legislators and Activists Launch Campaign to Ban Toxic Fracking Waste in Connecticut

Feb 18th, 2014 | By | Category: Top Story

State legislators, environmental and consumer advocates, and community leaders gathered to announce the launch of a statewide campaign to ban the importation, processing and/or treatment of fracking waste in Connecticut. The legislative sponsors of a Fracking Waste Ban Bill will join with experts and community leaders to discuss the legislation and grassroots efforts to support it.

At the press conference, the legislators and activists highlighted an “I Heart CT” sign and hundreds of “Valentines” with messages of support for the legislation from state residents written to their representatives.

Fracking, a highly controversial process of extracting natural gas taking place in nearby Northeast states, produces highly toxic and radioactive waste materials that must be disposed of. Conventional waste treatment facilities in Connecticut are not equipped to properly treat such harmful substances.

“Out-of-state fracking waste is coming, unless the state acts quickly and decisively to say that public health is more important. We don’t want it on our roads, in our streams and rivers or in the drinking water supply. A real critical mass is coming together to address this issue before it’s too late,” said State House Assistant Majority Leader Matthew L. Lesser.

“Fracking waste is a public health issue and should be treated as such. We should not allow the handling, use, or treatment of this waste unless we know the effects and consequences of doing so. At this point in time, it was clear we do not,” said State Rep. James M. Albis.

“Fracking waste can have a profound impact on our environmental and public health well-being in CT. I hope this legislative process will raise awareness and bring forth an honest and open exchange on the scientific and economic implications of fracking. Our ultimate goal is to inform and educate consumers and help my fellow legislators enact the best public policy for the greater good. I am honored to work with such an accomplished and passionate group of grass roots advocates and I thank them for their efforts,” said State Rep. Tony Hwang.

“There are processing plants in CT potentially interested in handling fracking waste –it could be a lucrative business. We need to be highly confident that they could do so without risk of water or land contamination. Public health and safety comes first; we won’t compromise on protecting our citizens,” said State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg.

“Liquid waste is the dirty underbelly of the hazardous and foolhardy practice of fracking. This highly toxic, radioactive material, if allowed to enter into Connecticut’s communities, is a public health and environmental disaster waiting to happen. We must stand up for Connecticut families and ban fracking waste now,” said Jen Siskind, local organizer with Food & Water Watch, a consumer watchdog group.

“Hazardous fracking waste is toxic, corrosive, and potentially radioactive; disposing of it in CT would do irreversible damage to our environment and infrastructure,” said Louis Burch, program coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE). “Our legislative leaders must take action now to ensure that Connecticut is not made a dumping ground for toxic fracking waste coming from out-of-state, before it’s too late.”

“The disposal of shale gas drilling waste laced with hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials in Connecticut constitutes an unprecedented public health threat. It is our hope that elected officials here in Connecticut will embrace this opportunity to stand up to one of the most powerful industries in the world to protect our water and other natural resources as well as innocent citizens from certain harm,” said Patti Wood, executive director of Grassroots Environmental Education.

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