Butte Co. Sups hold off on fracking ban-again

Feb 10, 2015 7:52 PM by Brian Johnson

Once again, the Butte County Board of Supervisors decided not to ban fracking today, nearly one year after an initial vote in favor of one.

Supervisors heard from a state gas and oil regulator from the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, also known as DOGGR.

Steve Bohlen said that while there are risks associated with fracking, they can be mitigated through regulations by DOGGR and other state agencies.

Many feel that SB-4, a state law that goes into effect this summer, will also curb those risks.

"The state already has all the different environmental protections and things that people are concerned about, in place," said Jeny Smith, who opposes a local ban on fracking. "So a ban here would just open up our county to liability that we can't afford."

"But that's not actually protecting anyone's health," said Tia Lebherz, a member of Food and Water Watch that has fought fracking in places like San Benito and Kern Counties. "That's not actually protecting water. And so it's really been passed off to the local level. So we see communities rising up like Butte, like San Benito, who are saying no that's not going to protect us enough..."

Supervisors are expected to revisit a potential ban on injection of waste products into wells in the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, Frack Free Butte County's initiative to ban fracking is slated to be on the November, 2016 ballot.


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