On Monday, February 11, 2013, the New Jersey General Assembly advanced a bill that would permanently ban hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey. Bill A-567 advanced from the solid waste committee and will be sent to the general assembly for a vote.

While bill sponsor Connie Wagner, D-Bergen praised the bill as a response to “man-made disruption to the environment,” opponents of the bill worry that a ban on fracking discourages business and innovation in New Jersey.

Sara Bluhm of the New Jersey Business & Industry association questioned whether the Bill would discourage companies from creating jobs in New Jersey.
The Bill’s proposed text states that “the practice of the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing . . . has been found to use a variety of contaminating chemicals and materials that can suddenly and in an uncontrolled manner be introduced into the surface waters and ground water of the State.” Similar legislation was passed in 2011 but was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. Christie initially placed a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing to await the results of the EPA’s fracking study. That moratorium expired in January of this year.

This article was prepared by Barclay Nicholson (bnicholson@fulbright.com or 713 651 3662) fromFulbright’s Litigation Practice Group.