Los Angeles Becomes Largest City to Approve Fracking Moratorium
Fri, 2014-02-28 13:14, CAROL LINNITT, DeSmogBlog
Fracking for oil and gas will not be happening in Los Angeles any time soon after City Council members unanimously voted to ban the practice within city limits today. The vote passes the motion to the City Attorney’s office where it will be rewritten as a zoning ordinance before returning to City Council for a final vote.
L.A. is now the largest city in the U.S. to refuse the dangerous extraction process. Local bans have become an effective protective measure against fracking, and are in place in numerous jurisdictions worldwide including Vermont, Hawaii, areas of New York State, Quebec, and France among many others.
The Los Angeles ordinance prevents the use of fracking until effective governmental oversight and regulation is in place at the local, state and federal levels.
“I think we can all agree unregulated fracking is crazy,” said Councilman Paul Koretz, co-author of the motion.
California is in the midst of a devastating drought, raising concerns over access to fresh water supplies. Fracking uses approximately 5 million gallons of water per frack job.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, there are still 9 Californian counties where fracking is in use, including Colusa, Glenn, Kern, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Kings and Ventura.
The Center also notes
“fracking routinely employs numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol, benzene, naphthalene and trimethylbenzene. It can also expose people to harm from lead, arsenic and radioactivity that are brought back to the surface with fracking flowback fluid. About 25 percent of fracking chemicals could cause cancer, according to scientists with the Endocrine Disruption Exchange.”
Flowback fluid or produced water, the toxic wastewater resulting from fracking, is so highly contaminated it is almost always permanently removed from the hydrological cycle and disposed of in deep injection wells. There is increasing evidence that these chemicals are migrating into sources of drinking water.