Offshore fracking lawsuit win

Chalk up a win for environmentalists as a federal judge has halted offshore fracking pending further review along the California coast.

The Environmental Defense Center and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper filed a lawsuit in November 2016, alleging that the federal government had failed to disclose the potential risks and impacts caused by fracking and acidizing from offshore platforms in southern California and that fracking could be in violation of the Endangered Species Act should the technique harm animals on the list.
The court ordered an injunction to prevent fracking before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can complete a safety review.

“We are pleased that the court has put a halt to the risky practice of fracking and acidizing off our coast,” said Maggie Hall, Environmental Defense Center staff attorney. “This ruling ensures that no further permits will be issued until potential impacts to threatened and endangered species, including the Southern sea otter and Western snowy plover, are considered.”

The court also ruled in favor of the state of California’s claim that fracking and acidizing cannot occur until the Coastal Commission reviews any potential harm to the state’s coastal zone, which will require a full public hearing process.

Oxnard wastewater system receives positive credit boost

The city of Oxnard’s Wastewater Revenue Bonds have been given an increased credit rating by Standard & Poors, raising from BBB to A-, affirming the city’s Wastewater Fund outlook as “stable.”

“This is a proud moment for the city and excellent news for our community reflecting two years of hard work and discipline,” said recently re-elected Mayor Tim Flynn. “Adjusting rates was necessary to get the [city’s] wastewater fund back into good shape. Our work has paid-off. The new bond rating will lower the city’s borrowing costs and make it less expensive to finance the much needed improvements of the system.”

S&P Global Ratings said that the city’s wastewater system’s financial performance improved “significantly” in 2017, the same year the Oxnard City Council approved a five-year wastewater rate package, the first rate going into effect on July 1, 2017, the second in January 2018. There will be three more increases of 5.25 percent as part of the package.

World Central Kitchen sets up for Woolsey, Hill fire aide

Back again after the Thomas Fire, José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen returned to Ventura and Los Angeles counties to again assist in the recovery effort following the Woolsey and Hill fires.

Local chef Tim Kilcoyne, whose assistance through WCK during the Thomas Fire gave him an opportunity to assist in Hawaii during a volcanic eruption and elsewhere, delivered lunch to a team of Los Angeles firefighters who remembered him from September’s Carr Fire in Shasta County.

Over 10,000 meals have been prepared by volunteers, which were provided to first responders and Red Cross evacuation centers, wrote Kilcoyne on a Facebook post.

“I tear up every time I go into the kitchen,” said Kilcoyne. “It’s unbelievable to see how this all comes together.”

Following the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide in December 2017 and January 2018, chefs Jason Collis, owner of Plated Events by Chef Jason in Santa Paula, and Kilcoyne partnered with his wife Lisa McCune Kilcoyne of Scratch Sandwich Counter in The Annex at The Collection in Oxnard, played pivotal roles in international relief efforts, visiting Hawaii and Guatemala.