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.