Councilmember Bernard C. Parks’ motion that asks the City of Los Angeles’ Planning Department to report back on utilizing existing city laws to regulate fracking was passed in council Wednesday. The motion backs the fracking moratorium ordinance that was approved in council last week and allows the city to effectively enforce the ban.
“My motion is more specific as to actions that can be taken to address fracking with specific emphasis on health and safety,” Parks said. “A moratorium could be an outcome or future permits might not be approved, but the intent of this motion is to use local land use regulations to control fracking and removes the reliance on either state or federal regulation.”
The Inglewood Oil Field is located underneath Baldwin Hills between Culver City and Inglewood and is the largest operation in Los Angeles. Residents nearby have complained about worsening asthma and other issues due to the extraction activities.
Parks, a public health advocate, has been concerned with the adverse effects fracking may cause such as water pollution and creating ‘seismic events’ that may resemble earthquakes. Parks also lent his support to the state’s action to regulate fracking, Pavely’s Senate Bill 4.
In Environment America’s “Fracking by the Numbers” report, fracking is defined as, “impacts resulting from all of the activities needed to bring a shale gas or oil well into production using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracturing operations that use at least 100,000 gallons of water), to operate that well, and to deliver the gas or oil produced from that well to market. The oil and gas industry often uses a more restrictive definition of “fracking” that includes only the actual moment in the extraction process when rock is fractured—a definition that obscures the broad changes to environmental, health and community conditions that result from the use of fracking in oil and gas extraction.”