Last Friday, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper called for action to protect both public health and the environment from fracking contamination currently occurring along the northern coast of Ventura County.
The following excerpts are from a press release issued last Friday by Santa Barbara Channelkeeper.
February 18, 2015 (VENTURA, CA) — On Friday, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, a non-profit organization that works to protect and restore the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds, petitioned two government agencies – the Ventura County Environmental Health Division (VCHD) and the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) – to take action to protect public health and the environment from contamination emanating from oil fields along the north coast of Ventura County. Citing a recent scientific study, Channelkeeper highlights findings that indicate fracking and enhanced recovery activities by nearby oil producers may be contaminating coastal streams and beaches.
In October 2014, the consulting firm Blue Tomorrow and Dr. Arturo Keller of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) released a study that examined impacts of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and oil production operations in five coastal watersheds in northern Ventura County.
Of particular concern were findings that runoff from some of the streams was found to contain concentrations of dissolved metals such as arsenic, as well as organic compounds that pose a risk of toxicity to humans through skin exposure. Storm flows in Amphitheater and Line Canyons were found to be up to 44 times greater than minimum levels expected to be safe for human contact.
Most alarmingly, the study concluded that fracking and waste disposal through well injection may be directly linked to chronic contamination of one particular stream, Line Canyon, which flows year-round to Solimar Beach. The study’s authors highlighted the year-round flows in Line Canyon as highly unusual when compared to neighboring streams along the South Coast that have remained consistently dry through the drought.