For Immediate Release, May 22, 2014

Contact: Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,                       

Activists in Hazmat Suits Protest Offshore Fracking at
California Coastal Commission Headquarters

Thursday Demonstration in San Francisco Highlights Oil Spill Risk,
Dumping of Fracking Chemicals Into California’s Ocean

SAN FRANCISCO— Wearing hazmat suits and carrying boogie boards, anti-fracking activists with the Center for Biological Diversity will hit the city streets today for a protest at 11 a.m. outside the California Coastal Commission, 45 Fremont St., San Francisco.

“Every offshore frack job increases the toxic threat to California’s fragile ocean ecosystems,” said Miyoko Sakashita, the Center’s oceans program director. “The Coastal Commission has a clear responsibility to safeguard our beautiful beaches, coastal waters and wildlife from dangerous fracking chemicals and the increased oil spill risk linked to using this controversial technology in offshore wells.”  

Protesters want the Coastal Commission to stop oil companies from fracking offshore wells and dumping dangerous fracking chemicals directly into California’s ocean.

Offshore fracking involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the seafloor at pressures high enough to crack rock formations and release oil and gas. Because of the high pressures involved, fracking increases the risk of a catastrophic accident like the 1969 oil spill that contaminated beaches from Santa Barbara to Ventura County. An onshore pipeline rupture in Los Angeles this week spewed thousands of gallons of oil, shutting down businesses, sickening workers, and creating knee-high pools of petroleum on city streets.

Oil companies have fracked hundreds of wells off California’s coast, and about half the oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel discharge wastewater into the sea. The oil industry has federal permission to dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including fracking fluid, a year directly into the ocean off California’s coast.

A recent Center analysis of 12 frack jobs in California waters found that at least one-third of chemicals used in these fracking operations are suspected ecological hazards. Drawing on data disclosed by oil companies, the Center also found that more than a third of these chemicals are suspected of affecting human developmental and nervous systems.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Go back