Tag: Fracking

DOGGR Delays Release of Draft Fracking Rules Pending Possible Instruction from Lawmakers

At a conference in Los Angeles at the end of July, the chair of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Felicia Marcus, noted that the Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) is delaying the release of its draft regulations of hydraulic fracturing until after the state's legislative session. Marcus indicated that DOGGR is waiting to see whether the legislature will pass the remaining bill to regulate fracking, Senator Pavley's SB 4.… Continue Reading

Surviving Fracking Bill Amended to Include Acid Well Stimulation

The one remaining bill before the California Legislature this session that would regulate hydraulic fracturing was amended in the Assembly this week. However, the amendment did not simply remove the fracking moratorium, as promised (see June 13, 2013, post), but it also included a provision that would regulate acid well stimulation treatment. The bill, SB 4, defines "acid well stimulation treatment" as treatment that involves the application of acids to a well to stimulate production.… Continue Reading

Only One Fracking Bill Survives in the California Legislature

On Wednesday, the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources rejected one of the remaining two bills this session that would have regulated hydraulic fracturing activities. The rejected bill, AB 7, was amended on the floor at the end of May and sent back to the Natural Resources Committee. As amended, AB 7 would have required approval of proposed fracking activities, notice to property owners, regional water quality board approval of the proposed wastewater disposal, and disclosures relating to fracking fluids.… Continue Reading

California Legislature Weeds out Fracking Bills and Rejects Moratorium

The California State Legislature was busy last week amending and voting on bills relating to hydraulic fracturing, including rejection of a moratorium. The Senate passed SB 4 with Senator Pavley's announcement that she would remove the fracking moratorium provision to get the bill to the Assembly. With that change, there will be no surviving bills proposing a fracking moratorium this legislative session.… Continue Reading

Senate Committee Also Advances Fracking Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality advanced two bills that would increase regulation of hydraulic fracturing. The first of these bills, SB 4, would (1) impose a permit requirement specific to fracking activities and (2) prohibit fracking beginning January 1, 2015, pending the completion of a study on the impact of fracking (see April 11, 2013, post). The second bill, SB 395, would (1) subject the disposal of fracking-related water to underground injection control (UIC) regulations, from which oil and gas operations are currently exempt, and (2) effectively prohibit the disposal of fracking wastewater containing hazardous waste by injection (see April 8, 2013, post).… Continue Reading

Assembly Committee Advances Bills to Impose Fracking Moratorium

On Monday, the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources passed three separate bills that separately would each place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The next stop for these bills is the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, then the bills may advance to the floor. Each of the three bills would restrict fracking activities pending a determination of whether and under what conditions fracking may be conducted without risk to human health or the environment. Two of the bills, AB 1301 and AB 1323, would prohibit fracking anywhere in the state. The third bill, AB 649, would only prohibit fracking, as well as the use of clean freshwater for fracking purposes, within a yet to be determined distance of an aquifer.… Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Challenge More BLM Leases Based on District Court’s Finding that BLM Failed to Adequately Consider the Impacts of Fracking

Less than a month after the United States District Court for the Northern District of California's decision that BLM failed to fully evaluate the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing operations in granting oil and gas leases (see April 11, 2013, post), the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club have initiated a second lawsuit challenging BLM's award of oil and gas leases for a much larger area of federal lands in California. The first suit challenged BLM's issuance of oil and gas leases for approximately 2,700 acres of land. The second suit calls into question federal leases for nearly 18,000 acres of land. Both sets of leases involve California's Monterey Shale Formation.… Continue Reading

Report Recommends More Stringent Regulation of Fracking in California

Last week, the UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy and the Environment released a report recommending increased regulation and further study of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing activities in California on public health and the environment. The report focuses on the potential impacts to groundwater and surface water resources relating to the management of wastewater associated with fracking, but also touches on other environmental and public health issues, such as air emissions and increased demand for water in well completions.… Continue Reading

Court Finds BLM Failed to Consider the Impacts of Fracking in Granting Mineral Leases

A federal judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to fully evaluate the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing operations in granting oil and gas leases for approximately 2,700 acres of land over California's Monterey Shale Formation. The court concluded that BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by unreasonably relying on a 2006 resource management plan and environmental impact statement governing management of the larger planning area encompassing the leases.… Continue Reading

California Air District Requires Fracking Notification and Disclosures

Last week, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) adopted a rule requiring pre-notification and reporting of air emissions and chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations. SCAQMD regulates air quality in Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The rule arose from a September 2012 symposium on fracking in the South Coast Air Basin, including representatives from the government, industry and environmental groups. In addition to fracking, the rule applies to other production stimulation activities such as gravel packing and acidizing. The rule will go into effect in early June, 60 days after its adoption on April 5.… Continue Reading

Another Bill Revised to Expand Regulation of Fracking Activities

Last week, California Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson amended the bill she introduced earlier this year to further regulate the management of water produced in fracking operations. The amended bill would also shift the prior focus from regulating fracking wastewater generally as hazardous waste to the regulation of fracking wastewater disposal. Specifically, it would prohibit the injection of any wastewater containing hazardous waste.… Continue Reading

Three New California Bills Proposed to Further Regulate Fracking

Last month, California legislators introduced three bills that relate to hydraulic fracturing. On February 20, 2013, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced SB 395 to regulate water produced during fracking operations. The other two bills were introduced in the Assembly and relate to DOGGR's approval of well drilling activities. On February 11, 2013, Assembly Member Marc Levine introduced AB 288 to require fracking-specific approval. On February 22, 2013, Assembly Member Das Williams introduced AB 982 to require an agency-approved groundwater monitoring plan for fracking operations.… Continue Reading

DOGGR Schedules the Second of Three Public Workshops on its Fracking Regulations

The Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) today announced the second of three public workshops on its draft discussion regulations governing hydraulic fracturing. The agenda includes pre-fracking well testing, advance notification, monitoring, and disclosures, trade secrets and handling relating to fracking fluids.… Continue Reading

California Lawmakers Discuss Proposed Fracking Regulations

On February 12, California lawmakers convened a joint legislative hearing to discuss the proposed regulations governing hydraulic fracturing in California. For further information about the proposed regulations, see the December 19 post. The lawmakers heard from four panels, including the Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), Department of Toxic Substances Control, State Water Resources Control Board, Air Resources Board and various local agencies, stakeholders and environmental organizations.… Continue Reading

DOGGR to Hold the First of Three Public Workshops on its Fracking Regulations

The Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) announced it will hold the first of three stakeholder workshops next week for input on the discussion draft regulations governing hydraulic fracking that it released in December. The first workshop will be held on February 19 in Los Angeles. DOGGR also plans to hold workshops in Bakersfield and Sacramento.… Continue Reading

Center for Biological Diversity Files Another Fracking Suit Against DOGGR

The Center for Biological Diversity filed another lawsuit yesterday in Alameda County Superior Court against the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) challenging permits issued for oil and gas well operations that allow hydraulic fracturing. The Center alleges in the complaint that DOGGR's issuance of permits for well operations that include fracking violates the state's Underground Injection Control (UIC) program and Public Resources Code.… Continue Reading

Alaska Fracking Regulations Could Influence DOGGR’s Proposed Fracking Rules

On December 20, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) released proposed regulations governing hydraulic fracturing. The regulations would require AOGCC approval to conduct fracking activities. This is in contrast to the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources Division (DOGGR) recently proposed “discussion draft” of potential fracking regulations (see … Continue Reading

DOGGR Releases Draft Fracking Rule

Yesterday, the California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) released what they are calling a "discussion draft" of a rule regulating hydraulic fracturing. The draft rule imposes new requirements specific to fracking operations, including testing, monitoring, disclosure and fluid handling obligations.… Continue Reading

Another Attempt at Fracking Disclosure Legislation in California

New bills were introduced in the state Assembly (AB 7) and Senate (SB 4) to require disclosure of the chemicals and the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing operations. This is at least the third attempt at fracking disclosure legislation, the last of which was tabled during the last session (see August 17 post).… Continue Reading