- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) - A group of farmers and others in Central California’s Kern County is suing state officials and oil executives over contaminated underground water aquifers.

A citizens group called the Committee to Protect Our Agricultural Water filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court. The lawsuit concerns hundreds of permits that state officials gave oil companies to operate in underground water reservoirs that were supposed to be off-limits under federal safe-drinking water laws.

The Associated Press and other news organizations reported earlier this year on the improperly granted state permits.

The citizens group alleges that Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials conspired to allow oil companies to get around regulations to protect drinking-water supplies.

State oil and gas regulators said Wednesday they do not comment on pending litigation.

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