Monterey County

Judge halts drilling permits next to condors at Pinnacles National Park

SALINAS, Calif. - A California court has delivered a setback to an oil company seeking to drill wells within a few miles of condor habitat at the state's Pinnacles National Park.

A Monterey County Superior Court judge ruled Monday that authorities in central California should have weighed the long-term environmental impact before they authorized an oil company to drill 15 oil wells next to the park.

The Center for Biological Diversity environmental group brought the case against San Benito County officials, and announced the ruling Wednesday.

Pinnacles is one of the country's newest national parks. It's been a base for efforts to restore endangered California condors since 2003.

Environmentalists argued the oil wells could harm the roughly two dozen condors that make a home at Pinnacles

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