Tag: SB 4

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

Carson, California Bans All New Oil & Gas Drilling Activity – Takes LA’s Hydraulic Fracturing Ban to the Next Level

The City Council of Carson, California has unanimously (by 5-0 vote) approved a moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling within its city limits.  The moratorium is set to last 45 days for now, and the City Council will consider a one-year ban on any new drilling after those 45 days are up. The reasoning … Continue Reading

Home Rule on Display in Los Angeles: First Oil-Producing City in California to Enact a Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

It was only a matter of time before a city banned hydraulic fracturing in California – a “home rule” state, where cities and localities are permitted by constitutional amendment to enact and enforce their own zoning laws as they see fit, so long as those laws stay within the bounds of state and federal constitutions. … Continue Reading

Two State Senators Try Enacting a Fracking Moratorium in California: What Are the Chances When the Last Effort Recently Failed?

The California Assemblymembers who sought a moratorium on all well stimulation activities early last year (vis-à-vis failed bills AB 1301, AB 1323, and AB 649) are seeking yet another moratorium, this time by amending SB 4, which went into effect on January 1, 2014 (and which we have extensively analyzed – see Stoel Rives’ SB … Continue Reading

How SB 4 Will End Up Taxing the Oil and Gas Industry and Even California’s Consumers: Looming Fee Hikes Will Cover State Water Resources Control Board’s Budget Needs, New Staff Positions

Most of the media has been consumed with talk of a proposed severance tax on oil and gas production, but meanwhile in Sacramento another tax on oil and gas production is being poised to take effect — funding requests to implement SB 4.  The State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) is asking for more than … 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

Upcoming Seminar: California Land Use Law & Policy Conference

Stoel Rives is a proud sponsor of California Land Use Law & Policy Conference, featuring partner Kristen Castaños, who will speak on “A View to the Future—Anticipated Legislation and Regulation Impacting Land Use.” Stay up to date on renewable energy permitting, SB 375 and “fracking” regulation under SB 4, among many other topics. Receive $100 … Continue Reading

California Moving Forward with the Implementation of SB 4

Efforts are already underway to implement SB 4, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 20, 2013 (see September 23, 2013 post).  The California Department of Conservation (the “Department”) and its Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources have begun developing draft regulations months before the law’s effective date of January 1, 2014.  The process of developing … Continue Reading

It’s Said and Done — Governor Brown Signs SB 4 into Law

On Friday, September 20, 2013, just days after indicating his support for the bill, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 4, which establishes a permitting system for the fracking of new oil and gas wells. The Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) is now officially tasked with developing the permitting program, which … Continue Reading

California Legislature Passes Fracking Bill

Just hours after the California Assembly voted to pass the remaining bill on hydraulic fracturing, SB 4, the California Senate voted to concur with the Assembly amendments. The next stop for the bill is the Governor's desk. Governor Brown's administration had previously indicated concern regarding the broad scope of the bill, which was amended in the Assembly to include other well stimulation activities including acid treatment. If the Governor vetos the bill, it can be overriden by a two-thirds vote in both houses, which is a strong possibility given the breakdown of the votes cast to pass the bill.… Continue Reading

California Assembly Passes Fracking Bill

Today the California Assembly passed the controversial bill regulating hydraulic fracturing, SB 4. The bill has been criticized by both industry groups and environmental organizations. Industry has argued that the bill is overbroad for including other types of well stimulation techniques, including acid well treatments, and creating a permitting scheme that subjects each decision to stimulate a new well to the California Environmental Quality Act. On the other end of the spectrum, the Center for Biological Diversity claims that only a moratorium on fracking would adequately protect the public and the environment.… Continue Reading

Assembly Committee Advances Fracking Bill to the Floor

At the end of last week, the Assembly Committee on Appropriations advanced the remaining bill regarding hydraulic fracturing, SB 4, to the Assembly Floor. After delaying the first scheduled vote on the bill, Appropriations advanced the bill without amendment. Since advancing to the floor, SB 4 has been amended to require the development of a reporting website and groundwater modeling criteria.… Continue Reading

Still No Agreement on Remaining Fracking Bill

The Assembly Committee on Appropriations failed to reach a decision at yesterday's hearing on SB 4 - the lone surviving bill relating to hydraulic fracturing in the California Legislature. Appropriations delayed a vote on the newly amended SB 4 for another two weeks after hearing extensive testimony on the bill. At the hearing, representatives on both sides of the issue rejected the bill. Industry representatives argued that the bill is too broad for regulating acid injection in addition to fracking. Meanwhile, environmental groups asserted that the bill is too lenient on fracking fluid disclosure requirements.… Continue Reading

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
LexBlog