[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Paramus 12-16-2014 by Ord. No. 14-30. Amendments noted where applicable.]
WHEREAS, the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas involves the use of chemicals and hazardous materials during construction, drilling, hydraulic fracturing, gas production and delivery, well maintenance, and workover operations; and
WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing of underground geologic formations is often accomplished by injecting a complex mix of fluids and chemicals, including large volumes of water, on average 4.5 million gallons per well, under very high pressure to create fractures in gas bearing geologic formations; and
WHEREAS, the US Geological Survey has identified what could be up to 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in New Jersey in the South Newark Basin and has yet to assess the North Newark Basin, which likely has trillions of cubic feet of gas as well.
WHEREAS, many of the chemical constituents injected during hydraulic fracturing have documented adverse health effects and/or adverse environmental impacts; and
WHEREAS, there have been more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination near fracking sites; some people who live near these sites can now light their drinking water on fire; and
WHEREAS, wastewater from fracking may contain radioactive elements and other toxic components and has been discharged into rivers that supply drinking water for millions; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection has documented three facilities in New Jersey as accepting waste from hydraulic fracturing operations, posing a direct threat to New Jersey's drinking water.
WHEREAS, use of these hydraulic fracturing operations mixed exposed air, aquifers and adjacent land and surface waters to the risk of contamination through spills and accidents, open pit storage, truck transport on roadways, and activities during well development; and
WHEREAS, Former President George W. Bush's EPA point person on water now admits fracking should never have been exempted from regulation; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey's Legislature originally acted to ban fracking, the case for a ban on fracking is strengthened by a US EPA report of contaminates associated with fracking being found in an aquifer in Pavilion Wyoming, and separate incidents involving earthquakes in Ohio linked to fracking waste disposal using injection wells; and
WHEREAS, wastewater, wastewater solids or sludge, drill cuttings and/or other by-products from the fracking process are known to contain toxic levels of contaminants, including unknown quantities of undisclosed chemical additives used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, as well as contaminants from sources underground; benzene, naphthalene, formaldehyde, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, total dissolved solids, and radioactive material, such as radium, are among the known contaminants; and
WHEREAS, methods of treatment and disposal for fracking waste do not eliminate the risks that hydraulic fracturing wastewater, wastewater solids or sludge, drill cuttings and/or other by-products pose to human health and the environment; and
WHEREAS, A575/S253 passed the New Jersey Legislature in June 2012 with strong bipartisan support, and would prohibit treatment, discharge, disposal, or storage of waste from hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey; and
WHEREAS, Governor Christie vetoed A575/S253 in September 2012; and
WHEREAS, fracking is exempt from important regulations meant to protect public health and environment, specifically sections of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Superfund, National Environmental Policy Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and
WHEREAS, at least five pipeline expansion projects, which will transport fracked gas, are planned for New Jersey, passing through densely populated communities like Jersey City and environmentally sensitive areas in the NJ Highlands and Pinelands, encompassing protected land paid for and owned by the people of New Jersey to be preserved as open space to protect water resources; and
WHEREAS, historically 100% of US produced gas has been used domestically, and now 12% of US produced gas is being exported to international markets via liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and 25% of gas production has been approved for export through these terminals; and
WHEREAS, previous decisions to halt the construction of LNG facilities in New Jersey and off our coast could be reversed to profit gas companies who can charge six to eight times as much for gas in Europe and Asia, respectively, as they can in the US; and
WHEREAS, the wise stewardship of our natural resources involves protection of Paramus' air, water supplies and water resources for generations to come; and
WHEREAS, protection of Paramus' air, water supplies and resources is better accomplished by prevention of contamination and environmental degradation, rather than attempting to clean up contamination and restoring degraded environments after the fact; and
WHEREAS, under existing State law regulating drilling for oil and natural gas under N.J.S.A. 12:1M-18 and N.J.S.A. 12:1M-1 et seq., a local governing body may ban drilling for natural gas, and exploration for natural gas beyond the "reconnaissance" phase.
Be it ordained, that on the 16 day of December 2014, that drilling for natural gas, using the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing and exploring for natural gas beyond the reconnaissance phase is prohibited within Paramus, New Jersey.