Dec 02 2013
A number of environmental groups in California are calling on a government agency to better protect Los Angeles residents from the pollution generated by city-area fracking projects. Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking, is a practice of harvesting oil or natural gas from the ground by pumping large amounts of a mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals. Critics say fracking is a serious threat to the health of people and the environment.
Early in November, their case was underscored by the experience of federal regulators from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who examined a fracking well near the USC campus. The inspectors suffered headaches, sore throats, and a variety of other ailments after being exposed to toxic air-borne chemicals from the well.
Local groups want the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to better monitor the air pollution from fracking and protect surrounding communities. Children are particularly vulnerable to some of the chemicals used. The groups even want California Governor Jerry Brown to place a moratorium on fracking in LA.
Meanwhile, Governor Brown signed a bill requiring greater transparency of the fracking industry in California this fall. While some are calling the California Environmental Quality Act the “strictest in the nation,” others are concerned that it allows far too much leeway to the industry. The California Department of Conservation is currently accepting public comments on the rule.
GUEST: Kassie Siegel, Director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity