On November 15, 2013, less than a year after issuing its first draft regulations on fracking, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) of the California Department of Conservation issued a new draft set of rules for fracking and other well stimulation treatments. Simultaneously, DOGGR issued a Notice of Preparation of Environmental Impact Report for the draft well stimulation rules under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). The draft rules and CEQA review were required under recently adopted Senate Bill 4, a bill Los Angeles Waterkeeper and Coastkeeper Alliance did not support because of our concerns that SB4 provided unjustified CEQA exemptions for fracking operations.
Comments on the draft rules and the CEQA Notice of Preparation are due in mid-January and public hearings will be held on January 6th and January 8th in Long Beach and January 9th in Ventura. DOGGR and the fracking industry need to hear from our members and supporters and from all members of the public regarding the environmental impacts and public safety impacts of fracking and other well simulation techniques, such as acid treatments, impacts, mitigation, and alternatives. As the only Waterkeeper organization in LA County, home to the largest urban oil extraction operation in the United States, the Inglewood Oil Field, Los Angeles Waterkeeper will be reviewing closely the proposed rules and the Notice of Preparation. We continue to believe that, as stated in our comments to the first draft regulations issued by DOGGR in December 2012, well stimulation techniques, such as fracking, should not be permitted or conducted until an adequate comprehensive study of environmental impacts is completed. Stay tuned for action alerts in December!
-Tatiana Gaur, Staff Attorney