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Fracking rules voted down

Members of the Ventura County Air Pollution Control Board met Tuesday to discuss a rule-making proposal regarding hydraulic fracturing. During a public comment, environmentalists favored regulations. They were concerned the chemicals used will harm air and water quality. Chamber of Commerce disagreed and said fracking has been occurring in California for years without problems.

The proposal ended in a tie vote, vetoing the new regulations.

This process of extracting oil from layers of rock is popularly known as fracking. Pressurized liquids release gases from under bedrock.

The proposal would have required oil companies to notify neighbors before a fracking project occurred. The companies would also have to inform the air pollution control district of the chemicals used.

“We will not pursue adopting the rule to notify any chemical disclosure in Ventura County under the Air Pollution Control,” said Michael Villagas, air pollution control officer.

Undertaking such rules would have cost the agency anywhere between $30,000 to 50,000. Many critics of this claim, however, state that no one can put a price on informing the public of chemicals that could affect the air and water quality.

The board voted unanimously to direct its staff to follow a neighboring air pollution control board study.

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