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Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Earthjustice, Sierra Club and Center of Biological Diversity
File Lawsuit to Halt California Oil Injection Practices

May, 2015

On May 7, Earthjustice, on behalf of Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court to halt the oil industry from injecting fracking waste water into protected aquifers.

California Department of Conservation has allowed construction of at least 2,500 wells that inject fluids which include oil well waste directly into protected aquifers. Half of these permits were issued in the last four years. These permits have been issued despite growing warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) since 2011 that state regulators were out of compliance with federal laws meant to protect underground drinking-water stores from oilfield contamination.

The response from the Brown Administration's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has been to establish "emergency" regulations that allow the injection wells to continue until at least 2017.

Oil wastewater in California typically contains high levels of cancer-causing benzene, according to testing done by DOGGR and oil companies. Wastewater can also include fracking fluid, which often contains chemicals that are linked to serious human health problems, including cancer and birth defects.

"Existing state and federal laws rightly recognize that groundwater is a precious commodity, and for decades, the law has protected both the aquifers already in use as well as those that might come into future use," said Nathan Matthews of Sierra Club. "DOGGR's emergency rule turns legal tradition on its head and gives the oil and gas industry free rein to contaminate California's aquifers prior to determining whether the ground water will be needed in the future."

Sierra Club California is the sponsoring chapter for the Club's role in the suit. (Source: Sierra Club California)



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Sierra Club and CBD Submit Comments to Bureau of Land Management's Request for Public Review of Oil and Gas Leasing and Development on Federal Lands
April 2017

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January 2017

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May 2016

Sierra Club and Other Groups File Lawsuit against California Oil Regulators
December 2015

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May 2015

Earthjustice, Sierra Club and Center of Biological Diversity File Lawsuit to Halt California Oil Injection Practices
May 2015

Sierra Club Condemns State Injection Well Practices, Calls for Investigation
February 2015

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November 2014

Monterey County Board of Supervisors Review Fracking Regulations
September 2014

Trio Petroleum Well Permit Denied at Monterey County Planning Commission
August 2014

A Renewable Energy Economy?
August 2014

Sierra Club CA Submits Comments to DOGGR on Fracking
August 2014

Chapter Submits Comments to BLM Regarding the Dangers of Fracking
February 2014

Santa Cruz County Moves To Adopt Fracking Moratorium
December 2013

Sierra Club Opposes Weak Fracking Bill SB 4 Passed by the Assembly
September 2013

Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity Win a Major Fracking Decision for Central California
August 2013

Chapter Submits Comments to State Regulatory Board Regarding Lack of Oversight for Fracking; Public Concern Grows
May 2013

Sierra Club and CBD Win Major Fracking Lawsuit Victory
April 2013

New Sierra Club Lawsuit Aims to Protect More Public Lands from Fracking
April 2013

Sierra Club Sues California Department of Conservation Over Dangers of Fracking
October 2012

Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity Sue BLM over Oil Leases
February 2012

Club files protest to stop fracking in Monterey County
August 2011

Controversial fracking method approved for oil drilling near Salinas River
April 2011