LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and the California Coastal Commission announced a lawsuit Dec. 19 challenging the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) final environmental assessment concerning fracking off the coast of California.
According to Harris’ office, the assessment put forth by the DOI allows hydraulic fracturing (fracking), acidizing and other advanced well treatments to be done along the Pacific outer continental shelf off the coast of California. Harris, along with the California Coastal Commission, argues this determination will extend the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim research links fracking with potential harm to marine life and increases in water and air pollution.
“We must take every possible step to protect our precious coastline and ocean,” Harris said. “The U.S. Department of Interior's inadequate environmental assessment would open the door to practices like fracking that may pose a threat to the health and well-being of California communities. We must balance our energy needs with our longstanding commitment to protecting our natural resources and public health.”
Harris’ office filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The suit charges the Interior Department with violating the National Environmental Policy Act and Coastal Zone Management Act by issuing the environmental assessment.