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California sued over fracking by eco-groups

By Bob Downing Published: October 17, 2012

From Bloomberg News:

California was sued by the Sierra Club and other groups seeking to block approval of new oil and gas wells because regulators have allegedly failed to consider or evaluate the risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The state’s division of oil, gas and geothermal resources regularly approves permits for wells without any environmental analysis about the health effects of fracking by excluding such projects from review, lawyers for the groups said in a complaint filed today in state court in Oakland, California.

The division doesn’t currently track, monitor or have any specific standards for hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells, and doesn’t know where or how often fracking occurs in California, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit seeks a court order declaring the practice violates state environmental laws and an order prohibiting approval of new wells until the state evaluates the risks of fracking.

California’s conservation department, named as a defendant, hasn’t been served with a lawsuit, said Ed Wilson, an agency spokesman, in an e-mail. The department doesn’t comment on pending litigation, he said.

In fracking, millions of gallons of chemically treated water and sand are forced underground to break shale rock and free trapped gas. The process has been blamed for groundwater contamination.

The case is Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Conservation, RG12-652054, Superior Court of California, Alameda County (Oakland).

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.