US DISTRICT COURT - FEDERAL GOV'T MAY NO LONGER ROUTINELY APPROVE OFFSHORE FRACKING IN CALIFORNIA

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1 february 2016

Why the federal government stopped fracking off California's coast

In what environmental groups are calling a huge win for the world's oceans, a settlement Friday requires all offshore fracking operations in California to stop, pending further environmental analysis.

By Story Hinckley, Christian Science Monitor Staff February 1, 2016

The federal government must stop approving all offshore oil fracking in California’s Santa Barbara Channel, according to a legal settlement filed Friday in US District Court in Los Angeles.

A lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity against the US Department of the Interior challenges the department’s practice of “rubber-stamping fracking off California’s coast without engaging the public or analyzing fracking’s threats to ocean ecosystems, coastal communities and marine life…” the environmental nonprofit says in a press release.

Under the settlement, the department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement must cease approving fracking permits immediately and analyze the environmental dangers of offshore fracking by the end of May, as designated under the National Environmental Policy Act. All future permit applications must be publicly accessible and open to review.

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