Dozens of environmental groups filed a legal petition Thursday asking California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas in the state.
The groups said their case is bolstered by recent news that oil and gas drillers were allowed by the state to inject wastewater from 140 wells, some of which were fracked, into protected waters.
“Millions of Californians living near oil and gas wells face grave health and safety threats from fracking and all phases of the oil and gas production process,” the groups wrote in their emergency petition.
“The oil industry is polluting our air, contaminating our aquifers, using dangerous chemicals near homes and schools, increasing earthquake risk by injecting vast quantities of wastewater into disposal wells near active faults, and speeding climate change,” they said. “These harms and risks pose an emergency and must be halted immediately.”
Under California lawn, Brown must respond within 30 days to the petition.
Earlier this month, some of the groups organized a rally in Oakland to push the state to back fracking, at which they said 8,000 people protested.
“Gov. Brown can and should act immediately to protect California’s precious water supplies from benzene-laden fracking fluid,” Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in the statement.
Another factor that the groups say bolsters their case is the December decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to ban fracking in that state.
Multiple cities and counties within California currently prohibit fracking.