The Center for Biological Diversity and Wishtoyo Foundation have sued U.S. officials, alleging they have approved fracking in federal waters off California without sufficiently evaluating the risks.
The suit highlights what they deem risks to the marine environment, public health, imperiled wildlife and Chumash Native American cultural resources from offshore fracking.
The Center for Biological Diversity says that Trump’s victory “may embolden Republicans to try to end the longstanding prohibition on new drilling off the California coast.”
“Federal officials’ failure to carefully study the risks of offshore fracking is doubly disturbing after Trump’s election,” said Kristen Monsell, a Center attorney. “Every offshore frack increases the risk of poisoning our ocean, and that danger could now spread along our coast.”
The Center claims that oil companies “will likely” attempt to drill and frack in waters stretching from Orange County to as far north as Humboldt in the wake of Republican Donald Trump’s election. In May, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement chose to allow offshore fracking in California after releasing an environmental safety report. The Center alleges, however, that the Bureaus’ report failed to acknowledge hazards associated with fracking chemicals, and that the report admits the potential increased likelihood of drilling- and fracking-related oil spills for as long as the practice continues.
The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 15, was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, claims that the Bureau’s reports violate the National Environmental Policy Act and alleges that the government failed to analyze the impact of fracking on wildlife by consulting with wildlife experts. The suit seeks a court order preventing the federal government from approving fracking in federal waters off California’s coast until there is compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act.