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Editorial: Bill to prevent Conn. from taking fracking waste should be passed

By Editorial Board
On April 22, 2014

This month, the Connecticut legislature judiciary committee approved a bill that would prevent waste from hydraulic fracturing-commonly known as "fracking"-from entering Connecticut. The waste from fracking consists of thousands of gallons of water pumped through shale deposits underground in order to push oil and natural gas to the surface to be mined. The wastewater is highly toxic, containing heavy metals and other dangerous chemicals and is possibly radioactive, according to one state senator. Fracking waste is currently unregulated by the federal government.
While Connecticut doesn't have any shale deposits suitable for natural gas drilling, there is a possibility that the state could house the waste from fracking. We have three companies with plants capable of processing fracking waste in Connecticut. Hopefully, the legislature will pass the bill and prevent fracking waste from becoming an issue in our state.
The bill still has a ways to go before it's passed-it has to make it through the state senate and house and be signed by Gov. Malloy before it becomes law-but it deserves to be passed. Fracking is incredibly detrimental to the environment, dangerous to humans and its waste could be a huge issue in the event of a spill. Lawsuits over environmental damage-particularly contamination of drinking water-have been filed against drilling companies in New York and Pennsylvania, the two states closest to Connecticut with large shale deposits.
One of the issues with this ban is Gov. Malloy's clean energy initiative. Some say a ban on fracking waste in Connecticut would be hypocritical because we've been promoting the use of natural gas as a cleaner, more efficient alternative to oil. Despite our "clean energy" push and Malloy's agenda, it's important that Connecticut sends the message that it takes the environmental consequences of fracking seriously. The waste is still unregulated and under-researched, so the state should proceed with the utmost caution. We can also help set a precedent around the country of addressing fracking waste seriously.
The state has a duty to protect both the environment and the health of its residents.
Connecticut should prevent the environmental damage that fracking has already caused other states while we have the chance.  

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