Tag: DOGGR

California Proposes Emergency Rules for Oil & Gas Waste Water Injection Wells as Precautionary Measure

On Thursday, April 2, the California Department of Conservation (“DOC”) published a notice of proposed emergency rulemaking for the state’s Class II Underground Injection Control (“UIC”) program.  The purpose of the rulemaking is set a schedule to eliminate injection into non-exempt aquifers so as to ensure that California oil and gas activities are in compliance … Continue Reading

Regulators Confirm: No Drinking Water Contamination from Oil & Gas Disposal Wells

On Tuesday, March 10, California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriquez and California Natural Resources Agency (“CNRA”) Secretary John Laird testified before a joint State Senate committee hearing.  At the hearing before the Natural Resources & Water Committee and the Environmental Quality Committee, Rodriguez and Laird confirmed that there has been no drinking water contamination due to … Continue Reading

Oil & Gas Wastewater Injection Wells Closed Down as a Precautionary Measure to Ensure Drinking Water Protection

On Tuesday, March 3, twelve underground injection control (“UIC”) wells in California’s Central Valley, specifically in Kern County, were shut down in order to protect subsurface drinking water from potential contamination.  These shut-ins occurred just one day after a letter from Matthew Rodriquez, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, to the Governor was published, … Continue Reading

Proposed Assembly Bill 356 Would Require Additional Groundwater Monitoring by Oil & Gas Operators

California Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) has introduced an oil and gas bill to ensure that the state comes into compliance with the Class II underground injection (“UIC”) requirements under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”).  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”), California is currently out of compliance with certain requirements for some Class II … Continue Reading

DOGGR Letter to USEPA Proposes Rulemaking to Eliminate Oil and Gas Well Injection into Non-exempt Aquifers

On Friday, February 6, California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) published a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) addressing issues with California’s Class II Oil and Gas Underground Injection Control program (“UIC”).  DOGGR wrote the letter in response to two previous letters from the USEPA where the USEPA pointed out … Continue Reading

Big Developments for Oil and Gas Operators Utilizing Well Stimulation Treatments

Today saw two significant developments for oil and gas operators utilizing well stimulation treatments in California. Pursuant to SB 4, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources released a statewide programmatic Draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) analyzing the potential environmental impacts associated with well stimulation treatments, including hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”). … Continue Reading

Here Today & Fracked Tomorrow: A Review of SB 4 in 2014

On Wednesday, December 17, I gave a presentation to the Groundwater Resources Association (“GRA”).  I reviewed the past year’s developments in California’s regulation of hydraulic fracturing and previewed my future predictions for the industry.  Below is a summary of my talk and the power point presentation is attached here.… Continue Reading

DOGGR to Review Well Stimulation Regulations to Ensure Compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act

On Friday, July 18, 2014, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) announced that it will review California’s Underground Injection Control (“UIC”) Program to ensure compliance with the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (“the Act”).  DOGGR has primary authority under the Act to regulate underground injection wells, … Continue Reading

DOGGR Well Stimulation Regulations Implementation Extended to July 1, 2015

On Friday, June 20, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a public resources “trailer bill:”  Senate Bill 681 (“SB 681”).  Section 5 of the Bill extends the implementation deadline for the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”).  The initial implementation date was set at January 1, 2015.  Under the new law, … Continue Reading

Department of Conservation Issues Revised, Proposed Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations

On June 13, 2014, the Department of Conservation (“Department”)  issued a public notice and posted the latest version of the proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production (“Revised Proposed Regulations”).  These are revisions to the permanent regulations that will go into effect on January 1, 2015.  The Revised Proposed … Continue Reading

Yet Another Proposed Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Fails: SB 1132 (Oil and gas: well stimulation treatments)

Yesterday, Senate Bill 1132 failed in the Senate.  In a 18-16 vote, SB 1132 fell three votes short of the necessary majority.  The bill was introduced by Senators Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno on February 20, 2014, as reported here. Through amendments to Public Resources Code (“PRC”) §§ 3157, 3160, 3161, the bill … Continue Reading

Under Scrutiny from All Sides, Brown Taps Ph.D. in Geology to Lead the DOGGR: What This Means for the Industry and SB 4’s Rollout

At last, the new Supervisor of the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) has been announced.  Steven Bohlen, currently Program Director at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will replace recently-retired former Supervisor Tim Kustic.  Mr. Bohlen’s background spans numerous academic, teaching, and research positions, including stints at Texas A&M … Continue Reading

Second Chance at a Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Moves Past First Major Obstacle

Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and other supporters of SB 1132 cleared their first major hurdle in their renewed effort to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other forms of well stimulation treatment in the state of California. On April 8, the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee voted to move the measure along, … Continue Reading

Is There a De Facto Moratorium on Well Stimulation in California?

SB 4 did not place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing or other well stimulation treatments.  SB 4 specifically states that so long as an operator complies with the notification and documentation requirements added to the Public Resources Code, the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) shall allow well stimulation activities … Continue Reading

Governor Brown’s Promised SB 4 Amendments: Proposals Should Appease Environmental Critics by Closing Potential CEQA Loopholes

In his SB 4 signing message (see September 20, 2013 post), Governor Brown promised certain “clarifying” amendments for SB 4, and his administration has begun the process of seeking those amendments. Governor Brown’s proposed legislation would amend SB 4 in three major categories: Permanent Regulations DOGGR’s deadline for draft permanent regulations will be pushed from … Continue Reading

Changing Leadership at DOGGR: Potential Impacts on the Most Productive County for Oil and Gas Operations in California

A new deputy district supervisor for District 4 of the Department of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) will take the helm on May 1 of this year. Dan Wermiel – a geologist and  previously DOGGR’s technical program manager – will head the Bakersfield district office in Kern County. As with all new leadership changes … Continue Reading

Challenge Against DOGGR Can’t Stand Under SB 4: Alameda County Judge Throws Out Environmental Suit

Environmental groups will have to wait to challenge hydraulic fracturing activities in the state of California until the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”)  issues its permanent regulations in 2015.  This is according to Alameda County Judge Evelio Grillo, who on January 17, 2014, granted a motion to dismiss a challenge brought by … Continue Reading

SB 4 Interim Regulations Are Final – What Operators Need to Know About New Compliance Requirements

Stoel Rives has issued a new client alert detailing provisions added to the draft emergency regulations issued by the Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) on December 11, 2013 (for more information on the draft emergency regulations see the December 12, 2013 and December 23, 2013 posts). Those regulations – and the new … Continue Reading

DOGGR Interim Regulations Provide Operators Some Guidance on SB 4 Compliance

California’s Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) is moving full-steam ahead in its implementation of SB 4 with its most recent circulation of the SB 4 Interim Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations (“Interim Regulations”).  Granted emergency regulatory authority in Pub. Res. Code § 3161(b)(6) (also known as SB 4), DOGGR has … Continue Reading

Get Ready: SB 4 Compliance Begins Next Month!

Today, the Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) released a Notice to Operators (the “Notice”), clarifying that some notification aspects of SB 4 will require compliance as early as the beginning of December 2013.  SB 4 requires the creation and implementation of numerous new regulatory programs and mandates.  One new mandate is a surface … Continue Reading

Potential Legal Challenges Likely to California’s New Fracking Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 4 on Friday, September 20, 2013, establishing a permitting system for fracking of oil and gas wells. (See September 23, 2013 post.) The state, through the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”), will be developing regulations to implement SB 4’s requirements. Despite its recent … Continue Reading

Judge Upholds DOGGR’s Application of UIC Fracking Exemption

Last week, a judge in Alameda County Superior Court denied the Center for Biological Diversity's motion for summary judgment in a case arguing that DOGGR is obligated to regulate hydraulic fracturing activities under the state's underground injection control (UIC) program. The Center challenged DOGGR's position that the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempts fracking from the state UIC program under the Safe Drinking Water Act (see January 25, 2013, post). The judge sided with DOGGR, finding that the exemption of fracking activities from state UIC regulations was consistent with the Safe Drinking Water Act and DOGGR's interpretation should be afforded great weight unless clearly erroneous.… Continue Reading
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