Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) has called on the federal government to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the federal waters off the coast of California until a comprehensive study is conducted to determine the impacts on the marine environment and public health.

Capps expressed her concerns in a letter this week to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. Requests under the Freedom of Information Act, along with media reports and an analysis from the Environmental Defense Center, have revealed that California’s coastal waters have been fracked at least 15 times in the last 20 years, according to Capps. She has pressed federal regulators to release information on the issue and continues to monitor onshore and offshore fracking activities closely.

“While we still know little about the impacts of onshore fracking, we know even less about [the] impacts of offshore fracking. The inadequate oversight of these activities is unacceptable, and offshore fracking should be halted until we better understand their impacts,” she said.

Earlier this week, the House approved legislation (H.R. 2728) that bars the Interior Department from enforcing federal fracking regulations in any states that already have regulations (see Shale Daily,Nov. 21).

Capps proposed an amendment to H.R. 2728 that would have implemented the moratorium called for in her letter, but the House leadership did not allow it to be brought to the House floor for consideration.