Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources is holding several hearings on
proposed regulations. They are:
Sacramento -- January 6, Sierra Room, California
Environmental Protection Agency Building, 10th & I streets, 3-7 p.m.
Long Beach—January 6, California State University-Long
Beach auditorium 1212 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach CA, 3-7 p.m.
Bakersfield -- January 8, Kern County Administrative Center, first
floor board chambers, 1115 Truxtun Avenue, 3-7 p.m.
Salinas -- January 8, National Steinbeck Center, One Main
Street, 3-7 p.m.
Maria -- January 13, Santa Barbara County supervisors
hearing room, 511 East Lakeside Parkway, 3-7 p.m.
Here are some
important points to consider making when you attend an SB 4 Fracking/Well
Stimulation Regulatory Hearing
agency should declare a moratorium first and foremost. There is a crying lack of
comprehensive science studying the potential impacts to California’s water,
air, climate, natural resources, environmental quality, and health goals. The
inadequacies of the current and proposed regulatory safeguards demonstrate the
clear need for a cautious approach. The
Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has the authority to
implement the precautionary principle and put an immediate halt to well
stimulation projects. It should use this authority now.
The proposed regulations fail to protect
public health and the environment in several ways, including:
- The proposed regulations are not
consistent with SB 4’s expectation of treatments to be regulated. Specifically,
"well stimulation treatment" is too narrowly defined. It limits the
regulations to only treatments that penetrate a formation more than 36 inches
from the well-bore and acid matrix stimulations that utilize more than 7%
concentration of acid. These thresholds are arbitrary and could leave
potentially dangerous processes under-regulated. SB 4 did not mandate that
DOGGR establish a minimum penetration from the well-bore, and therefore this
threshold distance appears to be unnecessarily limiting the scope of the
regulations and undercutting the intent of SB 4, which is to regulate all forms
of well stimulation.
- DOGGR must adopt a definition covering
any process that increases the permeability of a formation, regardless of
distance of penetration or acid concentration.
- The regulations set a precedent that
will lead to inadequate protection of important water resources. The
term "protected water" is defined narrowly, potentially leaving
waters with beneficial uses unprotected.
- The notification requirements are
inadequate. For purposes of public notices, the
definition of "tenants" as limited to residents with a written lease
is far too limited and would exclude a number of lawful tenants who should
receive the notice and information on water testing.
- Public disclosure is inadequate. All notices to stimulate a well must be
incorporated into the current Notice/Permit process for drilling and
reworking/redrilling and be posted immediately to the Division's website on a
daily basis in an easy-to-view format.
The speed at which the South Coast Air Quality Management District has established online forms, notices,
reporting, and databases for their well stimulation regulations demonstrates
the capability to act to notify the public quickly.
Water monitoring proposal won’t protect water
adequately. The regulations only require that water be monitored if it is within
the 1500 foot radius from the well head and 500 foot radius from the vertical
projection of a horizontal well. Dispersion of pollutants can and does reach much
further than that—up to a mile in the cases of some pollutants.