Greater vetting for fracking projects offshore California

Environmental group the Center for Biological Diversity has achieved a victory with Friday’s announcement that the US federal government has agreed to no longer just rubber stamp applications for oil fracking projects offshore California, according to Reuters.

The agreements settled lawsuits brought by the Center in Los Angeles District Court to challenge the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) approval of fracking operations off Ventura and Santa Barbara.

It will require future applications for offshore fracking to undergo environmental review from the DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) before the DOI can approve them. The reviews will assess if fracking threatens water quality and marine life.

Offshore fracking involves the blasting of vast quantities of water mixed with chemicals beneath the ocean floor in order to fracture rocks. It also involves the dumping of huge volumes of wastewater.

Oil fracking ships, called simulation vessels, resemble oil rigs as they are huge entities capable of supporting great tonnage of equipment and personnel.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting endangered species and wild places.


Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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