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Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Sierra Club Sues California Department of Conservation Over Dangers of Fracking

October 2012

Sierra Club, Earth Justice and other environmentalists are suing California oil and gas drilling regulators over hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." On October 16, California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) was sued by the Sierra Club and other groups seeking to block approval of new oil and gas wells because regulators have allegedly failed to consider or adequately analyze risks of fracking. The Club sued to force the State to conduct more environmental review as required by CEQA before permitting fracking. Currently the State regularly approves permits for wells without any environmental analysis, tracking or monitoring of public health from fracking by excluding such projects from review.

The lawsuit seeks a court order prohibiting approval of new wells until the state evaluates the risks of fracking which is a highly controversial and dangerous drilling method linked to water contamination and other issues throughout the United States.

Monterey and San Benito Counties have had several exploratory tests for fracking. Upon learning of the lawsuit, Monterey County Supervisor Dave Potter stated: "I applaud the Club's actions. I am firmly against fracking in Monterey County and agree there are still too many unanswered questions about the impacts to water quality and the environment, with too little oversight at the state and federal levels." As Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Board of Supervisors, Potter has requested legislative priorities to deal with the concerns about fracking including potential impacts to the environment, clean air and clean water.

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