Atmospheric River, 2/7/17

This does not look good… do not expect any problem areas: slides, slip outs, flooding, to get fixed this week. And for whatever consolation it can provide, we are not alone. Much of Central and Northern California is getting hammered with flooding, road closures, school closures, and other forms of weather-related problems.

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2015-2016 El Niño?

just a week or so ago, weather forecasters were saying the chances of an El Niño – in fact a strong one – for this winter were increasing substantially. Then today, NOAA, Monterey Bay said no, the models were all over the map.

The most succinct statement was issued today in the last paragraph of Daniel Swain’s blog, Weather West. He says: “And just to reiterate a key point from above: we still don’t know for sure whether strong or very strong El Niño conditions will ultimately develop (nor whether they will persist until winter, when they are most relevant for California). Confidence is starting to increase in current projections, since we’re now emerging from the Spring Predictability Barrier and most dynamical models are still suggesting the potential for a powerful event. But when we concatenate all the various uncertainties discussed above, there’s still something of an open question regarding what happens in California next winter. At this point, it’s fair to state that the likelihood of experiencing a wetter-than-average winter (and, perhaps, flooding) is increasing, but simultaneously that the risk of the California drought continuing into 2016 is nearly 100%. Needless to say: it will probably be a very interesting year to come for weather and climate-watchers in the Golden State. Stay tuned!”

It’s a fascinating read with some interesting animated graphics. I suggest you go take a look, then bookmark this guy, and/or sign up for email notifications. He only blogs about once a month, but that may increase as we approach the end of summer.

Draft EIR on Well Stimulation (Fracking)

On January 14th, the Department of Conservation, through its Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, published a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) titled “Analysis of Oil and Gas Well Stimulation Treatments in California.”

Senate Bill 4 requires the Division to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in order to provide the public with detailed information regarding any potential environmental impacts associated with well stimulation treatments in California.

The public review period for this Draft EIR begins on January 14, 2015 and will end on March 16, 2015. Written comments on the Draft EIR may be submitted and must be received on or before March 16, 2015. During the comment period, the Department and the Division will conduct six public comment meetings throughout the State to receive verbal and written comments on the Draft EIR.

To access the Draft EIR and detailed information on how to provide comments, please see the following link to the Department of Conservation’s webpage:

http://www.conservation.ca.gov

Also:
On behalf of the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), please see the following information:

Pursuant to Senate Bill 4, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) commissioned the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to conduct an independent scientific assessment of well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, in California.
On January 14, 2015, CCST released Volume I of the assessment to the public.

Volume I, which is titled “An Independent Scientific Assessment of Well Stimulation Technologies in California: Well Stimulation Technologies and their Past, Present, and Potential Future Use in California”, provides the factual basis describing what well stimulation treatments are, how they are conducted in general and practiced in California, and where they have been and are being used for oil and gas production in the state. The full independent scientific assessment will be issued in three volumes. Volumes II and III will be released in July 2015.

To view or download the report, please visit the CCST website at: http://www.ccst.us/projects/hydraulic_fracturing_public/SB4.php

Oil & Gas Regulation in California

ARB staff invites the public to participate in a public workshop regarding ARB’s proposed regulatory activities for oil and natural gas production, processing, and storage operations, including well stimulation on Monday, August 25, 2014. Staff will solicit stakeholder feedback during the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the following time and location:

DATE: Monday, August 25, 2014
TIME: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Coastal Hearing Room, Second Floor
ADDRESS: Cal/EPA Headquarters Building
1001 “I” Street
Sacramento, California 95814

This workshop will be webcast. You may access the webcast at ARB’s homepage, http://www.arb.ca.gov.

You may also participate in this workshop by teleconference by dialing 1-800-857-1778 (for domestic) or 1-415-228-5013 (for international), give the participant code: 9649516 and leader name: Ms. Elizabeth Scheehle. Please note that if you call internationally, it is a toll call.

Staff presentations and additional information will be available at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/oil-gas/oil-gas.htm.

If you have any questions regarding this workshop, please contact Ms. Johanna Levine, Air Pollution Specialist, Emerging Technology Section at (916) 322-3499 or via email at jlevine@arb.ca.gov.

California’s Drought

I ran into a wonderful country lady at the Cookie Crock today (hi, Joan!) and we talked about water and the mountains and human interference. Her spring is doing great. No change in forever. My spring is great. No change in at least 65 years. Neither of us interfere. We catch what the mountains gives us, leave a little runoff for the birds, the critters, and the goddess, but don’t try to get it from deep below, or make it do what it wants not to do. As long as we let it run, it will always run.

All that as the precursor to a couple photos I took on Saturday, on the way to King City.

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This was the reason I went to King City. It was at least 2 and 1/2 feet in diameter. This tree blocked Plaskett. Duke, of the USFS eventually dragged it out of the way. I love the drive to King City, although it is long and tough.

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This is a creek-fed pond at Chalk Camp off So Coast Rd. I was shocked to see so much water in it.

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And this is a creek that feeds into or becomes the Nacemiento River. We are in the third year of a drought, but there is water, in the mountains where no one interferes.

Proposed Fraking Legislation in California

California 2014 Bills: Last Friday, February 21st, was the deadline for introducing 2014 bills in the California Legislature. Over 1,900 bills have been introduced this year and here is one of proposed new laws:

SB 1132 (Mitchell & Leno) – to amend Public Resources Code § 31670, and to add § § 3160.1 and 3160.2 to the PRC. This bill would require a Natural Resources Agency’s scientific study (deadline: 01/01/2015) on well stimulation treatments, acid well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing treatments, to consider additional elements, including, among other things, evaluating various potential direct, indirect, and cumulative health and environmental effects of onshore and offshore well stimulation and well stimulation treatment-related activities, as specified. Would also prohibit all well stimulation treatments until the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency convenes a committee to review the scientific study, as specified, the Governor issues findings that specific measures are in place to ensure that well stimulation treatments do not pose a risk to, or impairment of, the public health and welfare or to the environmental and economic sustainability of the state, and, if applicable, those findings are affirmed by judicial review, as specified. Would also require the division to adopt a formal process to resolve any claims with respect to vested rights, as specified. Because a violation of the bill’s requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

NWS Drought Monitor

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Here is the link drought monitor

Likely chance of rain on the 27th and 28th, but there are also early indications that early March may hold substantial rain. If so, maybe we can go from exceptional drought back down to extreme!

I am having trouble deciding whether to keep my links as-is (recently changed from fire to my winter weather watch links), go back to fire, or change to a combination, but pared down version of each. Think I’ll wait until mid-March and then decide.

New Drought Category

A new drought category has been created. It is called, “exceptional drought.” It is the Category Five of droughts. The coastal portion of Big Sur is not yet in this category, but the mountain/eastern portions are. Including me. Coastal areas are in “extreme drought” or Category 4 conditions. As we all know, this is not good. It is even more surreal to write this as I watch the news of Atlanta recover from a little bit OS snow.

My rain gauge measured absolutely zilch today. I thought maybe when I moved it a few weeks ago I might not have gotten it straight, but considering that seems to be the consensus in other areas that showed some wetness, but no measurable rain, it probably is fine. I did get some dampness up here, but mostly under trees and on window screens. Certainly could not call it rain under anyone’s definition.

I am a native Californian. I have lived in this state all my life. I am going to be 65. I have never experienced anything like this. Extreme measures are in the works and necessary. Conserve, be aware, and educate those who aren’t.

Fracking Legislation in California

-Information only – please do not reply to this email-

You are receiving this message from the California Department of Conservation because you have asked to be kept informed about the development of regulations for the use of hydraulic fracturing in California for oil and natural gas production. We are no longer accepting comments on the “discussion draft” of regulations that were released last year.

The Department has posted new information about the enactment of Senate Bill 4, addressing well stimulation treatments, including hydraulic fracturing, and the ongoing creation of official draft regulations to implement that legislation at http://www.conservation.ca.gov. As soon the official draft regulations are released, the Department, through this Listserv, will announce a portal for the submission of public comments that will be part of the formal rulemaking process.

I believe the list serve one would sign up for is:

DOGGR_REGULATIONS_INFORMATION@LISTSERVE.STATE.CA.GOV

I am on the list and will post as soon as I am notified of the release of official draft legislation. Comments made on that will go into the official record.

Fracking in California -public comments

I am sorry I can’t get these links up, but one can copy and paste them into one’s browser.

Hydraulic Fracturing Draft Regulations –What Happens Next?

The California Department of Conservation and its Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources conducted five workshops in 2013 to hear public comments on the “discussion draft” of hydraulic fracturing regulations prior to the start of the formal rulemaking process. During 2012, seven workshops were held to gain public input on hydraulic fracturing. So, what happens next? All comments – including those given orally or in writing at the workshops, and electronically through the online comment links located on the Department’s and Division’s Web sites – will be taken into consideration as the process of developing the next draft of the regulations moves forward. Once the next draft and the required supporting documents are complete, the Department will begin the formal rulemaking process. These next steps in the rulemaking process are expected to take several months, and the public can continue to submit comments during this time via the Department and Division online links. There will also be an opportunity for public input during the formal rulemaking process.

Additional details on many of the important requirements involved in the process can be found on the Department’s and Division’s home pages:
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/Index/Pages/Index.aspx
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/Pages/index.aspx

Also:

-A version of the Discussion Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations document is now available with hyperlinks. The hyperlinks provide additional information regarding the content contained in the draft regulations. Links to both the original and hyperlink versions of the Discussion Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations can be found on the Department’s and Division’s home pages:
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/Index/Pages/Index.aspx
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/Pages/index.aspx

-A link to videos of the five 2013 Discussion Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations workshops can be found on the Department’s and Division’s home pages:
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/Index/Pages/Index.aspx
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/Pages/index.aspx