Santa Cruz County has become the first California county to permanently ban the controversial oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking. By a 5-0 vote, the Board of Supervisors this week amended its General Plan to prohibit all facilities for oil and gas exploration and development within the unincorporated County.

The ban replaces a temporary moratorium on fracking instituted last year that was set to expire this September. The new prohibition may have no practical effect, as the County has no active oil and gas production.

Santa Cruz County joins Beverly Hills, which earlier this month became the first California city to ban fracking.