Tag: SB 4

Part the Seas: Federal Report Finds Offshore Fracking has No Significant Impact

On May 27, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) jointly released a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (“PEA”) for well stimulation treatment activities at operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”) of offshore California.  The agencies identified and studied the environmental impacts of 43 lease areas … Continue Reading

Activists ask Court to Scrap EIR and Stop Fracking

Today, July 30, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”). CBD claims, among other things, that DOGGR failed to comply with Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”) by releasing its Final EIR regarding oil and gas well stimulation treatment … Continue Reading

Gov. Brown Assembles Fracking Review Panel

According to several news organizations, Governor Brown has announced plans to form a new panel to review the recent well stimulation study conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology (“CCST”). The study found that while there is little evidence that hydraulic fracturing is directly linked to widespread negative health and environmental impacts, additional data … Continue Reading

Independent Study on California Fracking Released

The California Council on Science & Technology (“CCST”) recently released its Independent Study of well stimulation in California. The report was prepared for the California Natural Resources Agency in response to Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”). The Study notes the following key points: Hydraulic fracturing in California does not use a lot of fresh water … Continue Reading

Plaintiff Seeks to use Anti-Discrimination Law to Stop Fracking

On July 14, a complaint was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court against Governor Brown and the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) Supervisor Steve Bohlen.  The lawsuit claims Governor Brown and Supervisor Bohlen have adopted regulations that result in racially disparate impacts from well stimulation on minority students. State regulators recently implemented … Continue Reading

California SB 4 Compliance Handbook: New Third Edition Now Available!

New Third Edition Reflects July 1 Permanent Regulations of Hydraulic Fracturing We have prepared an update to the firm’s SB 4 Compliance Handbook to aid operators in their efforts to comply with SB 4 and its new permitting scheme. Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”) regulates well stimulation treatments in California, including hydraulic fracturing and acid … Continue Reading

Water Board Signs Off on New Fracking Requirements

Yesterday, July 7, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) adopted new requirements (“Model Criteria”) for groundwater monitoring in areas where oil and gas stimulation activities occur, such as hydraulic fracturing. The Water Board was required to develop these requirements pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”). The requirements cover a wide range of … Continue Reading

DOGGR Releases Final Well Stimulation EIR

Yesterday, July 1, 2015, pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”) the State Oil & Gas Supervisor Steven Bohlen, head of the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”), certified a Final Environmental Impact Report (“Final EIR”) for oil and gas well stimulation treatments. As presented in the Final EIR, for the … Continue Reading

State Water Board Receives Groundwater Monitoring Recommendations from Experts

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) has recently released recommendations from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (“LLNL”) on Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring. Pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”), the Water Board is required to develop regulations for sampling, testing, and monitoring groundwater during hydraulic fracturing operations. The bill requires groundwater monitoring … Continue Reading

Industry and Environmental Groups Make Pitch to Water Board Regarding Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) held a Public Workshop regarding the proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring (“Model Criteria”). In this meeting, the Water Board heard comments from stakeholders who voiced their support or concern regarding the Model Criteria. Dr. Steven Bohlen, the State Oil & … Continue Reading

Water Board Issues Proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring

On April 29, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) issued a Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment and Notice of Public Workshop regarding the proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring (“Model Criteria”) for areas of oil and gas well stimulation. Senate Bill 4 requires groundwater monitoring for all oil and gas … 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

Monterey County Rejects Fracking Moratorium

On Tuesday, March 17, Monterey County’s Board of Supervisors voted against a temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing.  In the 3-2 vote, the majority of Supervisors stated that there is “no evidence of an immediate threat to public health” and no pressing need to regulate fracking on the local level.  There are currently no oil and … 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

SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Permanent Regulations Finalized

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved the Final Permanent Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations (“Permanent Regulations”).  The regulations go into effect on July 1, 2015, and the Interim Regulations, which were operative all of last year, will remain the governing law in the meantime.  By finalizing the Permanent Regulations, California … 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

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues.  This year’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite featured an insightful panel on hydraulic fracturing regulation.  The panel, held on Sunday, October 19, was titled “Recent Developments … 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

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

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Approves Moratorium on All Oil and Gas Activities

This past Tuesday, May 20, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a permanent moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development.  Santa Cruz becomes the first county in the state of California to approve such a moratorium, which includes a ban on hydraulic fracturing.  The permanent moratorium in Santa Cruz … 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
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