SORO NC supports moratorium on "fracking"

Posted Sep 21, 2012

SORO NC supports Koretz/Wesson moratorium on "fracking"

LOS ANGELES, California (21 September 2012) - The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SORO NC) voted Thursday to support a Los Angeles City Council motion calling for a moratorium on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

The City motion, co-sponsored by LA Councilmember Paul Koretz and Council President Herb Wesson, calls for "… the Governor of the State of California, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, and the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to move swiftly to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and on the disposal of fracking wastewater by injection wells, until DOGGR, in conjunction with local and state authorities and an independent third party reviewer, makes a determination that such processes are safe for public health, for the water supply and for the environment.”

Concerned about the lack of both state and local regulations governing the process of fracking, the SORO NC Board called for "an immediate adoption and enforcement of regulations governing [fracking's] practice, in order to protect our environment, community, homes, and citizens."
The SORO NC resolution also supports the Culver City Council’s July 2012 Resolution R057 “to immediately place a ban on hydraulic fracturing and on the disposal of “fracking” wastewater by injection wells until the State of California and DOGGR takes all necessary and appropriate actions to adopt, implement and enforce comprehensive regulations concerning the practice of fracking that will ensure that public health and safety and the environment will be adequately protected.”
Hydraulic fracturing is the process in which a high volume of water, sand and chemicals is forced into the earth under enormous pressure causing shale to "fracture," releasing oil and gas and creating large volumes of contaminated wastewater.  SORO NC's primary concerns are:
  1. The safe disposal of thousands of gallons of toxic wastewater, which can also result in the contamination of underground aquifers.  Fracking contaminants such as benzene, diesel fuel, high levels of fluoride, surfactant 2-BE and other chemicals have been found in aquifers in over 1000 documented cases. (ProPublica, “Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies?,” Nov. 13, 2008.)  According to an EPA report dated Dec. 2011, fracking resulted in groundwater contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming (Los Angeles Times, “Culver City Councils Calls on State to Ban Fracking Temporarily,” July 3, 2012). Furthermore, it is unclear what government agencies are responsible for the monitoring and the processing of fracking wastewater.
  2. The large amount of water required in the process of hydraulic fracturing when California water is a scarce resource.  Fracking in the Inglewood Oil Field, located partially in Culver City, produced 126 million barrels of toxic wastewater in 2011.(Mar Vista Resolution) Furthermore, according to the Inglewood Oil Field EIR, 100 new wells are planned for the Culver City section of the Inglewood Oil Field over the next 20 years.
  3. Earth instability, including earthquakes, can result from injection wells according to a U.S. Geological Survey conducted in March, 2012. In addition, there is concern about the rupture of wells resulting from regularly occurring earthquakes in California and whether or not these ruptures can be quickly detected if they happen.  The Inglewood Oil Field lies above the Newport-Inglewood Fault line. (Los Angeles Times, “Culver City Council Calls on State to Ban Fracking Temporarily,” July 3, 2012) It is also true that a large insurer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., will no longer pay for “damage related to …gas drilling”. (Associated Press, U.S. Insurer Won’t Cover Gas Drill Fracking Exposure, Albany, N.Y. July 12, 2012)
  4. Air pollution, which has been measured at five times above federal hazard standards near fracking sites, are a direct result of truck traffic, large generators, compressors, drills, (University of Colorado study). This pollution can jeopardize efforts to reduce green house gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 as mandated by AB 32.

The Inglewood Oil Field in Culver City is comprised of 1000 acres, making it the largest urban oil field in the nation (KTLA News, July 3, 2012). South Robertson is Culver City’s neighbor to the north. 10% of the oil field's surface is in Culver City, but Culver City sits on 20% of the underground portion of the oilfield (as defined by the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources or “DOGGR”). 
After attending a fracking workshop, hosted by the State of California’s DOGGR, the Culver City council members “were prompted to vote on the resolution [banning fracking] after receiving very little information from the workshop.” (Los Angeles Times, “Culver City Council Calls on State to Ban Fracking Temporarily,” July 3, 2012). In addition, the South Robertson Neighborhood Council joins with South Robertson’s LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, in support of State Assembly Bill 972 that calls for a moratorium. 

The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SORO NC) is chartered and funded by the City of Los Angeles to promote citizen participation in government at a grassroots level. SORO NC gives area stakeholders a voice in the issues, decisions and programs that affect their lives; provides a direct line of communication to the City to help address their unique needs; and builds a stronger community, one step at a time.
Paula Waxman, Green Team Co-Chair

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