Editor’s note: The Ordinance Committee is considering this issue today, Tuesday, Feb. 20.
To the editor:
My name is Louise Washer and I am president of the Norwalk River Watershed Association. I am working with volunteers in the six watershed towns to help pass ordinances to ban fracking waste.
Connecticut has a temporary moratorium on some types of fracking waste, however, as part of that same law, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) must submit draft regulations by July 1 for importing this waste. Future regulations = future permits. The local ordinances that 36 Connecticut towns have passed so far, most recently Redding, protect towns permanently from a comprehensive list of wastes from drilling and extraction processes. Weston and Ridgefield are considering bans now, and in Norwalk there is a presentation on the issue at the Ordinance Committee meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 20, at City Hall. It is important for people to show up who care about protecting water quality and the Sound from possible spills during transport, treatment, storage and from secondary uses (as a de-icer on roads, an additive to construction fill and cement…).
The state has failed to pass a permanent ban three times in the last five years, but the bill, Senate Bill 103, is being reintroduced this session. We need citizens to please submit testimony for Senate Bill 103 “An Act Concerning Hydraulic Fracturing Waste in CT” to the Environment Committee by 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 22nd. Please send an attached pdf file to: [email protected] . Also, if possible, help fill the room at the Public Hearing on Friday February 23rd, 11 a.m. in Room 1A at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. We need Republican co-Chair Senator Miner’s vote for this to move on and be called by the Senate.
Pennsylvania produces hundreds of thousands of tons of this toxic, radioactive waste every year. It would potentially come to Norwalk via I-84, Route 7 and I-95 to Bridgeport which houses a hazardous waste treatment facility. (The two other such facilities in the state are in Bristol and Meriden, both of which have passed bans.)
Fewer than 25 miles from Norwalk, Westchester County passed a permanent fracking waste ban in 2012, signed into law by the Republican County Executive. Republican-dominated Putnam County followed the next year. Across the Sound, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, passed waste bans years ago, and have gone back to amend and strengthen them since. All five boroughs of New York City banned fracking waste in 2016. The State of Vermont and many parts of New Jersey also have bans in place. Connecticut is just waking up to the problem. This week Redding was the 36th town to pass a ban, and we at the Norwalk River Watershed Association hope Norwalk will follow.
More information is available on our website: http://norwalkriver.org/help-ban-fracking-waste/
Norwalk River Watershed Association