Fracking on CA public lands

Now: Speak out against fracking on public lands in California today!


Bakersfield, Calif. – The Trump Administration today (actually 8/8/18) launched a 30-day public comment period on the environmental and public health impacts of hydraulic fracking in central California. The move is the first step in a process that will decide whether to allow the controversial oil extraction technique across 1.6 million acres of federal public land and mineral rights in Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Kern, and neighboring counties.

Last Week’s announcement – published in the Federal Register – was prompted by a 2015 lawsuit filed by Los Padres ForestWatch and the Center for Biological Diversity, represented by Earthjustice. The lawsuit alleged that the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) failed to consider the impacts of fracking as part of the BLM’s update of its Resource Management Plan for federal lands within the jurisdiction of the agency’s Bakersfield Field Office.

The groups prevailed in 2016 when a judge concluded that BLM failed to adequately analyze the impacts of fracking across vast swaths of public land in the region. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, based in Los Angeles, ordered the agency to evaluate those impacts in a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. In a settlement agreement with ForestWatch and the Center, the BLM agreed to not issue any new leases for oil drilling in the region until the supplemental report is complete.

You can find the rest of this article at:

The BLM’s comment deadline closes on September 7, 2018. To submit comments, visit You can also send your comments directly to the BLM.

FRACKING Moratorium narrowly defeated

Form the Monterey Herald …

Temporary fracking ban rejected by Monterey County supervisors
By Jim Johnson, Monterey Herald
POSTED: 03/17/15, 8:25 PM PDT | UPDATED: 16 HRS AGO
Salinas >> Arguing there’s no evidence of an immediate threat to public health, a split Board of Supervisors declined on Tuesday to move ahead with a temporary ban on the controversial oil extraction technique known as fracking, at least until the state finalizes its own rules.

Asked to consider a 45-day urgency ordinance prohibiting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other similar oil well stimulation techniques ­— as unanimously recommended by the county Planning Commission nearly 11 months ago — a narrow board majority indicated they preferred to allow the state to finish implementing its regulations for well stimulation treatment, which could take effect this summer.

Supervisor Simon Salinas, whose South County district includes active oil fields, counseled waiting on any local rules until the state has a chance to complete its work.

“We can’t regulate the (oil and gas) industry county by county,” Salinas said. “I think we ought to give (the state) a chance and then monitor it.”

Supervisor John Phillips indicated doubts about whether the county could find there was a legal basis for a moratorium, which requires an immediate threat to public health or safety. Phillips noted that there is no known fracking operation, nor any fracking applications, in the county, and argued that any attempt to secure a use permit would stretch beyond implementation of the state’s rules.

“I question whether there’s a basis for the moratorium,” the retired judge said. “If not, let’s just wait until (the state rules are finished).”

During more than an hour of public comment, oil industry representatives, oil field workers and others spoke against a local ban and praised the economic impact of energy production, while a number of speakers argued the potential environmental damage of fracking should outweigh other considerations, and openly doubted the state’s capacity for monitoring its effects.

The supervisors also heard a report on the state’s developing regulations and county staff work on local Title 21 land use rule changes related to oil and gas exploration in Monterey County.

The state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources is expected to certify an environmental impact report on fracking on July 1, when the state’s new rules are set to take effect.

Supervisor Jane Parker proposed allowing county staff to return later with a rationale for the temporary ban, but the board voted 3-2 against with Supervisor Fernando Armenta joining Salinas and Phillips in the majority.

The proposed local fracking rules would require property owners proposing the use of well stimulation treatments on new or existing wells to obtain a county use permit under certain development standards, shift review of use permit applications from the zoning administrator to the Planning Commission, and prohibit exploration and removal of oil and gas in residential areas.

Also Tuesday, Phillips asked county officials to discuss a local approach to addressing the potential impact of hundreds of trains carrying millions of gallons of crude oil through Monterey County to an expanded Santa Maria oil refinery owned by Phillips 66.

The supervisor noted that the trains would likely run through North County and the Elkhorn Slough, threatening the prospect of extensive damage from a train crash and oil spill in the environmentally sensitive preserve.

Earlier this month, Santa Cruz County supervisors voted to oppose the project, joining the cities of San Luis Obispo, San Jose, Berkeley and Richmond, though the opposition is largely symbolic because local governments can’t restrict railroad traffic.

Jim Johnson can be reached at 726-4348.

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson covers Monterey County government and water issues for the Monterey Herald. Reach the author at or follow Jim on Twitter: @JimJohnson_MCH.

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Gas and Oil Extraction in Monterey County

From: “Bogdan, Grace x6414” <>
Date: February 11, 2015 2:54:33 PM PST
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
Subject: Second Stakeholder Oil & Gas Meeting

The second stakeholder meeting for amendments to the Monterey County Zoning Ordinance for oil and gas projects will be held in the Monterey Room on the second floor of the Government Center located in Salinas on February 24th from 6-8pm. This meeting is intended to gather input from stakeholders within the industry and general public at large. Please feel free to forward this invitation to any interested parties. A follow up email will be sent with the agenda for this meeting. Please contact Grace Bogdan with any questions at

February 24, 2015 from 6pm-8pm
Monterey Room
Government Center, 2nd floor
168 W Alisal St Salinas, CA 93901


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:

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:

Fracking Regs

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) has sent out public notice regarding revisions to the proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production. This public notice begins a 15-day public comment period which will end at 5pm on October 24, 2014. The regulations, which are to go into effect on July 1, 2015, are designed to protect health, safety and the environment, and supplement existing strong well construction standards. They address a comprehensive list of issues, including testing, monitoring, public notice, and permitting. To ensure the major requirements of SB 4 are addressed in the interim, DOC has had emergency regulations in place since January 1, 2014.

To read the proposed regulations or to learn how to make a comment on the proposed regulations that will go into the official rulemaking record, please visit or

Fracking in Monterey County

Everyone should know about this meeting.

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Tia Lebherz, Food & Water Watch”
Date: September 17, 2014 11:55:58 AM PDT
Subject: Don’t frack Monterey County!
Reply-To: “Tia Lebherz, Food & Water Watch”

This fall, the Board of Supervisors will be considering a moratorium on fracking in Monterey County. It’s going to be a real fight, and we’re kicking it off with an educational forum to help get the word out about this serious threat to the county. Can you join us in Salinas this Saturday, September 20 at 1:00 p.m.?

What: Educational forum – hear from local speakers about how fracking would impact Monterey County
When: Saturday, September 20 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Hartnell College – Steinbeck Hall, 411 Central Ave., Salinas, CA
Fracking is an extreme form of energy extraction the involves blasting millions of gallons of water, mixed with toxic chemicals and sand, at high pressure deep underground to retrieve oil and natural gas. Fracking is water intensive, opens the door for potential water contamination, has been linked to birth defects, can cause earthquakes and puts our farmland at risk.

As oil and gas companies search for more fossil fuels to extract, fracking operations continue to expand across the state. There is no place for fracking in Monterey, and we’re building a movement to stop fracking from harming our farm-rich, tourism-attracting, beautiful county.

RSVP to join us for this important event.

I hope to see you there,

Tia Lebherz
California Organizer
Food & Water Watch

P.S. Free childcare will be provided at this event!

WASHINGTON, DC 20036 • TEL: (202) 683-2500

Fracking info and site

Another nail in the coffin ?

Help Save “America’s Best Idea”
Spread the Word About Fracking on Public Lands!

A famous American writer and historian, Wallace Stegner, once called our national parks “the best idea we ever had.” Because these lands were set aside for conservation, generations of us have been able to witness America’s natural beauty, and grow our appreciation for the natural world. So to think that Congress is handing out permits for oil and gas companies to frack on our public lands is deeply upsetting. Help spread the word by sharing our list of the Top 13 Parks Threatened by Fracking.

We’ve compiled a site with pictures and stories of each of the 13 most threatened national parks. With your help, we can stop oil and gas companies from harming these special places. Take a moment to learn more about the threat of fracking in our national forests, then pass our site along to a few friends! You can share it through email by copying the page link, or on social media by using the share buttons next to each postcard.

Our public lands are too important to be tarnished by the oil and gas industry, just for a limited supply of cheap natural gas. Show your love for national parks and forests by sharing ‘The Top 13 Parks Threatened by Fracking’ with a few friends, and encouraging them to sign the petition!


WASHINGTON, DC 20036 • TEL: (202) 683-2500

Monterey County Oil and Gas regulation updates

From the County Planning Dept:

The purpose of this email is to update interested members of the public and stakeholders regarding the County’s process for amending oil and gas regulations. Staff from the Department of Conservation (DOC) will conduct a workshop here in Salinas on Hydraulic Fracturing and other Well Stimulation Treatments. This public workshop will be held during the September 23, 2014 Board of Supervisors meeting to provide maximum stakeholder and public input. Staff will bring forward the two ordinances separately after this workshop. The following tentative schedule is expected:

September 23rd 2014: DOC Workshop at the Board of Supervisors @ 1:30pm

Early October: Interim Urgency Ordinance (temporary moratorium on fracking and other well stimulation treatments) to the Board of Supervisors

October 29th 2014: Title 21 Amendments for Oil and Gas (REF130051) to the Planning Commission

Please contact Grace Bogdan, Project Planner ( or Mike Novo, Planning Director ( with any questions or comments.

Fracking in California

California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste into Ground
The state warns that fracking for natural gas might be contaminating aquifers used as a source for drinking water
Jul 21, 2014 |By Abrahm Lustgarten and ProPublica

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

The action comes as California’s agriculture industry copes with a drought crisis that has emptied reservoirs and cost the state $2.2 billion this year alone. The lack of water has forced farmers across the state to supplement their water supply from underground aquifers, according to a study released this week by the University of California Davis.

The problem is that at least 100 of the state’s aquifers were presumed to be useless for drinking and farming because the water was either of poor quality, or too deep underground to easily access. Years ago, the state exempted them from environmental protection and allowed the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them. But not all aquifers are exempted, and the system amounts to a patchwork of protected and unprotected water resources deep underground. Now, according to the cease and desist orders issued by the state, it appears that at least seven injection wells are likely pumping waste into fresh water aquifers protected by the law, and not other aquifers sacrificed by the state long ago.

“The aquifers in question with respect to the orders that have been issued are not exempt,” said Ed Wilson, a spokesperson for the California Department of Conservation in an email.

A 2012 ProPublica investigation of more than 700,000 injection wells across the country found that wells were often poorly regulated and experienced high rates of failure, outcomes that were likely polluting underground water supplies that are supposed to be protected by federal law. That investigation also disclosed a little-known program overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that exempted more than 1,000 other drinking water aquifers from any sort of pollution protection at all, many of them in California.

Those are the aquifers at issue today. The exempted aquifers, according to documents the state filed with the U.S. EPA in 1981 and obtained by ProPublica, were poorly defined and ambiguously outlined. They were often identified by hand-drawn lines on a map, making it difficult to know today exactly which bodies of water were supposed to be protected, and by which aspects of the governing laws. Those exemptions and documents were signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown, who also was governor in 1981.
State officials emphasized to ProPublica that they will now order water testing and monitoring at the injection well sites in question. To date, they said, they have not yet found any of the more regulated aquifers to have been contaminated.

“We do not have any direct evidence any drinking water has been affected,” wrote Steve Bohlen, the state oil and gas supervisor, in a statement to ProPublica.

Bohlen said his office was acting “out of an abundance of caution,” and a spokesperson said that the state became aware of the problems through a review of facilities it was conducting according to California’s fracking law passed late last year, which required the state to study fracking impacts and adopt regulations to address its risks, presumably including underground disposal.

California officials have long been under fire for their injection well practices, a waste disposal program that the state runs according to federal law and under a sort of license — called “primacy” — given to it by the EPA.
For one, experts say that aquifers the states and the EPA once thought would never be needed may soon become important sources of water as the climate changes and technology reduces the cost of pumping it from deep underground and treating it for consumption. Indeed, towns in Wyoming and Texas — two states also suffering long-term droughts — are pumping, treating, then delivering drinking water to taps from aquifers which would be considered unusable under California state regulations governing the oil and gas industry.

In June 2011, the EPA conducted a review of other aspects of California’s injection well program and found enforcement, testing and oversight problems so significant that the agency demanded California improve its regulations and warned that the state’s authority could be revoked.
Among the issues, California and the federal government disagree about what type of water is worth protecting in the first place, with California law only protecting a fraction of the waters that the federal Safe Drinking Water Act requires.

The EPA’s report, commissioned from outside consultants, also said that California regulators routinely failed to adequately examine the geology around an injection well to ensure that fluids pumped into it would not leak underground and contaminate drinking water aquifers. The report found that state inspectors often allowed injection at pressures that exceeded the capabilities of the wells and thus risked cracking the surrounding rock and spreading contaminants. Several accidents in recent years in California involved injected waste or injected steam leaking back out of abandoned wells, or blowing out of the ground and creating sinkholes, including one 2011 incident that killed an oil worker.

The exemptions and other failings, said Damon Nagami, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council in an email, are “especially disturbing” in a state that has been keenly aware of severe water constraints for more than a century and is now suffering from a crippling drought. “Our drinking water sources must be protected and preserved for the precious resources they are, not sacrificed as a garbage dump for the oil and gas industry.”

Still, three years after the EPA’s report, California has not yet completed its review of its underground injection program, according to state officials. The scrutiny of the wells surrounding Bakersfield may be the start.

SB 4 – Fracking Regulations

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) has sent out public notice of proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production. The public notice begins the formal rulemaking process and marks the beginning of a 60-day public comment period. The regulations, which are to go into effect on January 1, 2015, are designed to protect health, safety and the environment, and supplement existing strong well construction standards. They address a comprehensive list of issues, including testing, monitoring, public notice, and permitting. The Department also will have emergency regulations in place by January 1, 2014 to ensure the major requirements on SB 4 are addressed in the interim.

To read the proposed regulations and other material, to see a schedule of upcoming public meetings, or to learn how to make a comment on the proposed regulations that will go into the official rulemaking record, please visit

There was a copy of this proposed legislation attached, but it is 13 pages. You should be able to find it at the links provided above.