California enacts new rules on fracking

Sept. 21, 2013 at 12:35 PM

SACRAMENTO, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to sign into law new restrictions on fracking drew praise from the oil industry and criticism from environmentalists.

The Western States Petroleum Association said in a written statement the legislation leavers the door open to explore potentially bountiful areas of the San Joaquin Valley.

WSPA President Catherine Reheis-Boyd said the law provided "an environmental platform on which California can look toward the opportunity to responsibly develop the enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale formation."

Environmentalists said the law does not go far enough and had hoped Brown would have vetoed the measure, the Los Angeles Times said.

The newspaper said the bill authored by Democratic State Sen. Fran Pavley was the only one of six fracking bills to make it through the legislature. Its provisions go into effect Jan. 1.

The Times said the bill requires permits to be obtained for wells where fracking will be used, and for nearby residents to be notified the process was to be used. It requires groundwater testing and further study of the environmental effects of fracking.

Brown said in a written statement he wanted the permitting process to be "efficient" and the rules to undergo a fine-tuning process in the near future.

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