Brown appoints panel to review California rules for fracking Associated Press3:03 PM, Jul 22, 2015
AP Photo/VC Star July 22, 2015
Yesterday the VCStar ran an Associated Press story:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says he's created a panel to study how California should monitor hydraulic fracturing for oil.
The panel will review a state-ordered fracking study released this month that found some of the chemicals used in California's fracking boom likely pose a risk to public health. It said the state has failed to track them.
The study ordered by state lawmakers also urged greater oversight of fracking and other intensive oil field production methods.
The panel announced Wednesday combines personnel from nine different state agencies.
It comes as the Democratic governor is at the Vatican for talks on climate change, where he implored world leaders to reduce the use of fossil fuels. But Brown has faced criticism at home from environmentalists for continuing to allow hydraulic fracturing.
The California Council on Science and Technology has released an independent study on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing throughout the state. This study was mandated by recent legislation (SB4).
The study found oil and gas development causes habitat loss and recommends important habitat be preserved from the impacts of oil and gas exploration and production in Ventura County.
Conclusion 3.4. Oil and gas development causes habitat loss and fragmentation.
Any oil and gas development, including that enabled by hydraulic fracturing, can cause habitat loss and fragmentation. The location of hydraulic-fracturing-enabled development coincides with ecologically sensitive areas in the Kern and Ventura Counties.
Recommendation 3.4. Minimize habitat loss and fragmentation in oil and gas producing regions.
Enact regional plans to conserve essential habitat and dispersal corridors for native species in Kern and Ventura Counties. The plans should identify top-priority habitat and restrict development in these regions. The plan should also define and require those practices, such as clustering multiple wells on a pad and using centralized networks of roads and pipes, which will minimize future surface disturbances.
A program to set aside compensatory habitat in reserve areas when oil and gas development causes habitat loss and fragmentation should be developed and implemented (Volume II, Chapter 5; Volume III, Chapter 5 [San Joaquin Basin Case Study]).
Other key findings and recommendations include: expand monitoring and data collection regarding hydraulic fracturing, prepare for changes in the HF process and with acid stimulation, account for both direct and indirect impacts (the study noted these well stimulation processes allow oil development to occur in places where with conventional methods it would not be possible to get the oil out, and "The report recommends evaluation of indirect impacts of concern (such as disposal of produced water, habitat disruption, emissions, health impacts, oil spills etc.) for all oil and gas development, rather than just the portion of development enabled by well stimulation."