Despite its findings, the environmental impact study has deepened tensions between an oil field owner and those opposed to the controversial hydraulic fracturing technique used to extract oil.
By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
9:59 PM PDT, October 14, 2012
The environmental impact report on hydraulic fracturing at the Inglewood Oil Field was supposed to address key concerns raised by residents of the Baldwin Hills area.
Instead, the report has deepened tensions between the oil field's owner, Plains Exploration & Production Co., and the community after the findings were released last week.
The yearlong study — conducted by an environmental consulting firm and paid for by the owner and operator of the oil field —concluded that the controversial extraction method used at two wells did not affect the environment or health of those living nearby.
But critics, after days of reviewing the study, say it lacks independent scientific scrutiny and that at least one of the peer reviewers has close ties to the energy industry. Moreover, the critics say, the report's conclusion is based on near-term impacts and fails to address fears of long-term damage — such as the potential risk of chemical additives leaching into groundwater. The report was peer reviewed by two firms selected by the oil company and Los Angeles County.
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