SANTA CRUZ (KCBS)— Santa Cruz County has once again passed an environmental milestone becoming the first California County to ban fracking.

The ordinance, passed unanimously on Tuesday (5-0) by Santa Cruz County supervisors, bans any above-ground facilities that support the controversial oil drilling technique.

The anti-fracking law is largely seen as being symbolic since there are no known oil leases in Santa Cruz.

“I absolutely support the ban,” said Matthew Feske, who works in Scotts Valley. Originally from Texas, Feske said he’s seen the impacts of fracking in that region and how votes to allow the procedure have displaced families and contaminated water in low-income areas.

County Supervisor John Leopold, the architect of the anti-fracking law, noted that the Central Coast sits above the Monterey Shale, which could hold millions of barrels of oil.

“Rather than taking a chance on the environment, waiting for the state to finish their testing, we just chose to ban the practice, he said.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law in 2013 calling for a statewide environmental impact report on controversial oil-drilling method.


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