Federal Judge Halts Fracking Offshore California Including Santa Barbara Channel

A federal judge has issued an order declaring the federal government violated environmental protection laws when it approved permits for fracking and acidizing (otherwise referred to as well stimulation treatments, or WSTs) from platforms offshore California.

The judge agreed with the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper (SBCK) that the government failed to conduct adequate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding potential impacts to threatened and endangered species.

The judge also held that the federal government must provide the California Coastal Commission with an opportunity to review fracking and acidizing before allowing such practices.

Accordingly, the court issued an injunction prohibiting the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) from approving any plans or permits for the use of well stimulation treatments offshore California.

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