Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 7, 2015

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

Long Beach Protest to Target Proposed Offshore Fracking in California Waters

Two of World's Most Toxic Chemicals Would Be Used in All 13 Planned Fracks 

LONG BEACH, Calif.— Hazmat suit-wearing activists concerned about plans to use dangerous chemicals in fracking in Long Beach Harbor will march from the California Coastal Commission meeting to Long Beach City Hall today, in protest against 13 planned offshore fracks.

The demonstration, organized by the Center for Biological Diversity, begins at 11 a.m. today outside the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Seaside Ballroom, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., and ends at Long Beach City Hall.

Protesters will urge the city of Long Beach to halt plans for new fracks offshore. The fracks would use a cocktail of dangerous chemicals including Kathon, an industrial biocide that causes severe skin burns and eye damage in humans. The two chemicals that combine to make up Kathon were identified by a recent California Council on Science and Technology report as being among the world’s most toxic chemicals with respect to aquatic life.

“This offshore fracking would use some of the planet’s most toxic chemicals in California’s fragile ocean environment,” said Kristen Monsell of the Center. “To protect coastal communities and marine wildlife from toxic pollution and oil spills, Long Beach city officials must stop these fracks from happening."

These would be the first offshore fracks in state waters since 2013. The recent science council report found that there is inadequate information about the toxicity and health risks of more than half the chemicals used in fracking in California. At least 10 fracking chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking in California can kill or harm a wide variety of marine species, including sea otters and fish, Center scientists have found.

Offshore fracking extracts oil and gas by blasting large volumes of water laced with chemicals beneath the seafloor at pressures high enough to fracture rocks. The high injection pressures used in fracking raise concerns about the risk of a well failure or other accident that could cause another oil spill along the California coast.

The California Coastal Commission has told city officials that these fracks cannot proceed without a coastal development permit. Because the city of Long Beach owns the land and directs the drilling operations in Long Beach Harbor, protestors are asking city officials to immediately halt plans for offshore fracking.

“Long Beach officials need to recognize the obvious fact that this toxic technique simply doesn’t belong in our ocean,” Monsell said. “The risks of offshore fracking are just too extreme.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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