Fracking opponents in California have won what may be their first victory in court, with a federal magistrate’s ruling that federal authorities broke the law when they leased land in Monterey and Fresno counties to oil drillers without studying the possible risks of hydraulic fracturing.
The decision, made public Sunday, will probably delay fracking on four sites leased by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in 2011.
U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal with the U.S. District Court in San Jose ruled that the bureau did not properly assess the threat that fracking could pose to water and wildlife before selling the leases, some of which lie within the Salinas River watershed. He made clear that he was not ruling on the merits of fracking itself.
- U.S. Failed to Take ‘Hard Look’ at Fracking, Judge Rules – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Fracking foes in California win in court (sfgate.com)
- Victory! Fracking foes in California win in court (climate-connections.org)
- Judge Rules U.S. Violated Fracking Rules in Monterey County (blogs.kqed.org)
- Earth Log: Judge’s ruling may slow fracking in Fresno County (fresnobee.com)
- CA fracking foes win court victory (sfgate.com)