The report comes on the heals of Gov. Brown signing SB 4, the first regulation in California to specifically address various well stimulation practices including fracking and acidization. The EDC notes however, that SB 4 applies to onshore land and offshore waters within the State of California's jurisdiction, the new law does not apply to federal waters - which is the focus of the new report.
Click the image above to view the report.
Portions of the report appear below:
"Although fracking has been conducted off of California’s shores for at least two decades, the practice was until recently largely unknown to state and federal regulators, as well as the general public."
"EDC’s review and analysis of federal records received through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that at least 15 fracs have occurred offshore California, with several more proposals pending. More fracs have almost certainly been conducted, however, as federal regulators were until recently unaware that the practice was being used. The information currently available shows that the majority of fracs have occurred from platforms with a history of spills that are in close proximity to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and other ecologically important areas."
In light of its findings the EDC makes several recommendations to the Obama Administration:
- Place a moratorium on offshore fracking and other forms of well stimulation unless and until such technologies are proven safe through a public and transparent comprehensive scientific review
- Prohibit the use of categorical exclusions (exemptions from environmental review) to authorize offshore fracking and other forms of well stimulation
- Formally evaluate offshore fracking and other forms of well stimulation through a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
- Initiate consistency reviews with the California Coastal Commission for all exploration plans, development plans, drilling or modification proposals involving fracking and other forms of well stimulation
- Ensure that all fracking proposals comply with the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act
- Review and revise the Clean Water Act permit for offshore platforms to specifically address fracking and other forms of well stimulation