MONTEREY, Calif. - Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills made a decision that overturns portions of Measure Z.
This decision leaves the fracking ban in place, but does strike down the ban on new oil and gas wells and wastewater injection. In turn, unless another ruling brings an overturn, most operations in Monterey County can continue as they are.
The group Protect Monterey County announced they will appeal that decision.
The group says the decision leaves the fracking ban in place, holding that oil-industry plaintiffs lack standing to challenge it, because they have asserted they have no plans to frack. However, the decision strikes down the ban on new oil and gas wells and wastewater injection, finding these portions are “pre-empted,” or disallowed, by state and federal law.
"Allowing each city and county to regulate the techniques would result in what he called a checkerboard way of addressing regulation of the industry across the state as opposed to a uniform approach by state regulation," said Charles McKee, Monterey County Counsel.
“We will appeal this decision,” said Dr. Laura Solorio, president of Protect Monterey County. “We’re confident that a higher court will uphold Measure Z in full and affirm the right of communities to protect themselves from risky oil operations. California law provides local governments with broad authority to protect our air, water and health.”