SACRAMENTO (AP) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom is cracking down on oil producers by halting the approval of hundreds of fracking permits until independent scientists can review them.

Also Tuesday, the Democratic governor also temporarily banned another drilling method that regulators believe is linked to one of the largest spills in state history.

The state said it will not approve new wells that use high-pressure steam to extract oil from underground.

It’s the type of process Chevron uses at an oil field in the Central Valley that California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said has leaked more than 1.3 million gallons (4.9 million liters) of oil and water this summer.

The oil industry called the moves “disappointing.” The Western States Petroleum Association says California’s environmental regulations already lead the world.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

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