‘Fracking’ moratorium, preservation bond issues before Senate panel

TRENTON – A new moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and the possibility of new bond issues for land preservation and waterways protection are before the Senate Environment and Energy  Committee on Monday.

S247 would put in place a moratorium on the controversial practice of gas exploration until the Environmental Protection Agency concludes a study.

A previous moratorium, signed last January, was for one year only.

Other bills would address the need for new bond issues since the latest round has ended.

Up for discussion only are S2529, Preserve N.J. Act of 2013; and S2530, Green Acres Bond Act of 2013.

The first proposal would constitutionally dedicate certain sales tax revenue toward open space, flood-prone areas, farmland, and historic preservation.

The second would authorize bonding for $400 million toward floodplain, farmland, and historic preservation.

A companion, A3663, would break down the $400 million: $218 million for land acquisition for public recreation and preservation; $24 million would go to the Blue Acres program for storm- and flood-damaged properties; $146 million for farmland preservation; and $12 million for historic preservation.

Other bills on the committee agenda include S2176, which would mandate that grease recycling businesses be licensed and monitored by the state; and S576, which would provide that systems used to remove contaminants from wells on residential properties would be covered under the state’s Spill Compensation Fund.

Regarding the latter bill, such compensation has been prohibited once a property has been sold, penalizing a new homeowner whose property is contaminated through no fault of his own, according to the bill, sponsored by Sen. Fred Madden Jr., D-4, Washington Township.

 

‘Fracking’ moratorium, preservation bond issues before Senate panel