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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Blue Whales, Other Endangered Animals From Offshore Fracking in California

Federal Government Authorized Fracks From Oil Platforms Without Analyzing Threats to Rare Whales, Sea Otters, Turtles, Birds or Fish

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for approving fracking in federal waters off the California coast without evaluating the dangers to blue whales, sea otters, and other threatened and endangered wildlife.

“Every offshore frack puts California’s wonderful coastal wildlife at risk from toxic chemicals or another deadly oil spill,” said Kristen Monsell, a Center attorney. “It’s disturbing to see the federal government ignore its legal responsibility to carefully consider the dangers of offshore fracking and prolonged drilling to whales, sea otters and other species already struggling to survive.” 

The bureaus decided to allow offshore fracking in May, after releasing a cursory environmental assessment of the practice. The federal assessment acknowledged potential threats to imperiled wildlife, including toxic risks to sea turtles and seabirds from fracking chemicals and the danger that fracking support vessels could run over sea turtles and whales. A recent study by Oregon State University researchers cites collision with ships as a reason blue whales have not recovered.

Read more.

Learn more about offshore fracking.

Contact: Kristen Monsell

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Media Contacts:
Mike Stark, Communications Director
mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252, ext. 315

Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist – Population and Sustainability
jherrera@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 260-17256

Steve Jones, Media Specialist – Oceans
sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866

Andy Parker, Media Specialist – Endangered Species
aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569

Patrick Sullivan, Media Specialist – Climate Change, Fracking
psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316

Tom Brown, Media Specialist – Public Lands
tbrown@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252 ext. 326

Russ McSpadden, Communications Associate – Media Photos
rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; island fox photo by Jim Steelquist/Flickr