A prominent environmental group has filed a lawsuit challenging the State of California’s stance on the regulation of hydraulic fracturing in the production of oil and natural gas.
The Center for Biological Diversity says that the state’s Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources has failed to act on an existing state law that it says allows the regulation of the controversial practice. The lawsuit was filed today in Alameda County Superior Court.
"We filed this case in order to get state regulators to apply existing protections to the fracking that is going on now," says Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the group. "We think this will help move the ball towards better protections from franking in California."
Last December, the state released a draft of proposed new regulations and disclosure requirements for fracking. She says the draft regulations don't go far enough.
"The new proposal wouldn't require the disclosure of chemicals until after the fracking has taken place and in fact has enormous loopholes, where the identity of the chemicals could be shielded for public view, just because the company claims that it's a trade secret," says Siegel.
The state says it plans to begin a more formal rulemaking process for franking regulations later this year.