TRENTON, NJ- Today, Governor Murphy released a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission calling for a full ban on fracking activities, including the importation and exportation of fracking waste, within the Delaware River Basin. The letter calls on the three other Governors within the Basin—Gov. Cuomo, Gov. Wolf, and Gov. Carney—to join in this comprehensive ban.

“Governor Murphy doubled down on his commitment to protecting New Jersey, not only for the 15 million Americans who depend on the Delaware River for clean drinking water, but also for New Jersey’s economy that depends on clean, reliable water,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

Governor Murphy announced his support for ban on fracking activities in February of last year, citing that the practice has no place in New Jersey’s clean energy future and poses too much of a threat to clean water and the environment. Today’s announcement takes the Governor’s commitment further and includes exportation and importation of fracking wastewater. Previously, under the Christie Administration, New Jersey abstained from a vote on a resolution by the Delaware River Basin Commission that would ban fracking activities that included exportation and importation of wastewater.

New Jersey LCV serves as New Jersey’s State Policy Lead for the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed (CDRW), a group of over 130 organizations committed to protecting and restoring the Delaware River and its surrounding areas so clean water and valued resources can be enjoyed for generations to come.

“The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed is grateful for Governor Murphy’s leadership in protecting the future of the Delaware River Basin’s drinking water, wildlife, and economy. The Administration’s announcement will have basin-wide implications for all who enjoy and depend on clean water. We urge fellow basin-state governors to commit to and share responsibility in prioritizing this critical resource for all people and wildlife,” said Sandra Meola, Director at New Jersey Audubon and the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed.

New Jersey LCV joined with New Jersey Audubon and CDRW in November of last year to deliver petition signatures to the Governor’s office calling on the Administration to prioritize protecting the Delaware River Basin. The delivery was part of National Wildlife Federation’s “4theDelaware” campaign, which calls on all four Governors surrounding the Delaware River to come together and take responsibility for protecting and promoting natural resources throughout the river’s basin.

The Delaware River Basin provides drinking water for 5% of the U.S. population, including the cities of Phillipsburg, Trenton, Burlington, and Camden. It is also essential habitat for several threatened or endangered species, and is an important stopover point for migrating birds. Additionally, New Jersey’s economy depends on the river as a vital source, as over 62,000 jobs are directly supported by the basin, including fishing, recreation, tourism, water utilities, and sewer construction. In total, the river provides $1.3 billion in wages annually.

“With an anti-environmentalist Administration at the federal level, and rollbacks of important environmental regulations happening nearly every week, it’s even more important for states to take a stand and fight for our natural resources. In joining with the four states that share the Delaware River, Governor Murphy and his administration are taking a strong stance and proving that he will continue his leadership on protecting this critical resource,” concluded Potosnak.