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Moratorium on fracking ends in N.J.

A story in the Philadelphia Inquirer says New Jersey’s one-year moratorium on the controversial method of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has expired.

Fracking involves pumping large quantities of water underground to break up subterranean rock formations and release trapped deposits of natural gas. It’s controversial because the fracking water contains toxic chemicals, including the carcinogen benzene.

The process is used to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale — a gas-rich underground rock formation that extends into New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

According to the Inquirer, New Jersey’s northwest corner contains gas-rich deposits.

Energy industry officials maintain those deposits are too deep and uncertain to make hydraulic fracturing economically viable in that area for the foreseeable future. But environmentalists claim the ban is necessary to protect New Jersey residents from the type of development seen across the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.

The report quotes Doug O’Malley, interim director of Environment New Jersey, as saying: “The one-year moratorium was a fig leaf. We need New Jersey to send a strong message to our neighbors we’re not going to tolerate fracking.”

Lopez McHugh is investigating injuries related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free evaluation.

See the story here: