Business

Tuesday, Oct 16 2012 06:04 PM

Worth noting in business: Environmental group sues over fracking, more

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A lawsuit filed by environmentalists Tuesday accuses California's top oil regulatory agency of neglecting to perform adequate reviews before allowing the use of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Filed by the nonprofit group Earthjustice on behalf of organizations including Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, the suit is at least the third court action this year targeting the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources over its alleged failure to review oil projects in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

While hydraulic fracturing has opened vast U.S. oil and gas reserves to production, including in Kern County, it has been criticized as being risky to groundwater and air quality.

Mark Nechodom, director of the state Department of Conservation, which oversees DOGGR, said in Bakersfield last month that it is time for the division to "update and rethink" how it performs environmental reviews of oil projects. But he asserted that there is nothing wrong legally with the state's approach to such reviews.

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union has sold its University Centre office building and branch at 9500 and 9800 Ming Ave. to Chevron U.S.A. Inc., both companies announced.

KSFCU said in a news release that the sale gives it the opportunity to establish new administrative offices, meet its members' financial needs and do things like open more branches.

Chevron stated that the transaction will allow it to accommodate new employees in the future.

The Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce is hosting a noon ribbon-cutting Thursday at Bakersfield Upright MRI, 9802 Stockdale Highway, Suite 106.

The ceremony is to be followed by a private reception Thursday evening.

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