For Immediate Release—June 4th, 2019
Contact: Tomas Morales Rebecchi, 619- 252-6899, [email protected]
Ventura—County Supervisors voted unanimously this afternoon to extend a moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling near potable water sources for six months while groundwater contamination is investigated. The move came following the discovery by the U.S. Geological Service of explosive thermogenic gases, like methane, in water wells in the Fox Canyon Aquifer. Supervisors originally passed 45-day moratorium in April, and the extension will keep it in place until December.
Oil developer Peak Operator has a permit request pending to drill 79 new tar sands wells in Ventura without an environmental review. The extended moratorium will put that request, as well as others, on hold until the end of the year while the impact to local water is investigated. Supervisors can renew the moratorium once more for up to two years in total.
In response to today’s vote, Food & Water Watch Senior Central Coast Organizer Tomas Morales Rebecchi issued this statement:
“The board took its first step towards protecting our precious county water, but much more is needed. Our community is doubly impacted by agricultural pesticides and oil drilling, and our air and our water have been polluted for decades. The moratorium does not apply to other projects like one proposed by Renaissance Petroleum, which wants to drill dozens of new wells within 1,600 feet of Oxnard homes and schools. The Supervisors should halt all new oil and gas wells once and for all to protect the health of the community.”
For background on steam fracking in the Oxnard tar sands see the Food & Water Watch fact sheet.
For more on the moratorium see our research memo.
Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.