In Todays Ojai Valley News -
Supervisors will hear drilling appealDetailsPublished on Thursday, 02 October 2014 18:49
Kimberly Rivers, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Two local groups are now taking their fight to the county's Board of Supervisors to force an oil company to conduct an environmental study before they're allowed to drill two new exploratory oil wells.
Last week, the Ventura County Planning Commission unanimously denied an appeal seeking an environmental impact report (EIR) to examine the cumulative impacts the wells would have on their surroundings.
The two nonprofit organizations groups who filed that appeal — Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) and Los Padres ForestWatch (LPFW) — have decided to take the next step and file a second appeal with the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. The appellants have asked the Planning Commission to require an EIR as part of its review process on the proposed project, which sits in an area north of Piru near sensitive California condor habitat and Los Padres National Forest.
So far, the Planning Department has done a study resulting in a document called a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). Essentially, that document found the impacts of the project would not be significant, and further, that any potentially significant impacts have been mitigated by conditions included in the company's conditional use permit (C.U.P.). The project, and the C.U.P. were approved earlier this year.
"When the planning department turns its back on the health complaints of the residents of Piru and purposely excludes highly polluting oil and gas projects from its evaluation of cumulative impacts nearby, CFROG calls that irresponsible,” said John Brooks, Oak View resident and president of CFROG. “In the name of environmental justice, we have no choice but to appeal."
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