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California green organizations call for offshore fracking ban

December 17, 2013
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California regulators should put an end to offshore hydraulic fracturing operations because they violate state laws, according to a group of environmental organizations who have urged the California Coastal Commission to act to prevent environmental damage.

In a letter sent to the commission, 150 health, business and environmental groups have called for an immediate cancellation of all offshore fracking operations. Emily Jeffers, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity -- one of the organizations calling for action -- stated that coastal waters can be poisoned by fracking and drilling operations can destroy the delicate ecological balance of the area. The well-being of many marine animals is being put at risk because of the toxic chemicals used by oil and gas companies in extracting fuel, she added.

RELATED: California environmental study on fracking to take up to 18 months

The letter claims that fracking operations violate the Coastal Act and that the commission should use its power to bring this "risky practice" to an end. It also cites a recent analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity which shows that at least a third of the chemicals used in offshore fracking operations have been linked with environmental hazards, while others are suspected to cause problems in the development of the human nervous system.

Among the groups that have signed the letter to the commission are Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, Breast Cancer Action and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations.

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