Bakersfield, Calif. – The Trump Administration today (actually 8/8/18) launched a 30-day public comment period on the environmental and public health impacts of hydraulic fracking in central California. The move is the first step in a process that will decide whether to allow the controversial oil extraction technique across 1.6 million acres of federal public land and mineral rights in Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Kern, and neighboring counties.
Last Week’s announcement – published in the Federal Register – was prompted by a 2015 lawsuit filed by Los Padres ForestWatch and the Center for Biological Diversity, represented by Earthjustice. The lawsuit alleged that the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) failed to consider the impacts of fracking as part of the BLM’s update of its Resource Management Plan for federal lands within the jurisdiction of the agency’s Bakersfield Field Office.
The groups prevailed in 2016 when a judge concluded that BLM failed to adequately analyze the impacts of fracking across vast swaths of public land in the region. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, based in Los Angeles, ordered the agency to evaluate those impacts in a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. In a settlement agreement with ForestWatch and the Center, the BLM agreed to not issue any new leases for oil drilling in the region until the supplemental report is complete.
You can find the rest of this article at: https://lpfw.org/trump-administration-begins-process-to-reopen-1-6-million-acres-in-california-to-oil-drilling-and-fracking/
The BLM’s comment deadline closes on September 7, 2018. To submit comments, visit LPFW.org/fracking. You can also send your comments directly to the BLM.