Just before 5:00 today the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources DOGGR, sent a notice to members of the media that at the proposed regulations will be made public tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. This will begin a sixty-day public comment period as part of the formal rule making process.
A conference call for members of the media only, will take place from 9 to 10 am giving the press the opportunity to ask questions to Mark Nechodom, Director of the Department of Conservation, Jason Marshall - Chief Deputy Director for the Department of Conservation and Tim Kustic, State Oil and Gas Supervisor, head of DOGGR
DOGGR has been holding public hearing to receive input on their draft regulation that were specific to hydraulic fracturing. Earlier this year state legislators realized that DOGGR was not tracking or specifically overseeing the process and so DOGGR was charged with creating regulations. During the latest rule making session the legislator passed one bill - SB4 written by Sen. Fran Pavley (D- Agoura Hills) that will apply to fracking and acidization as well as other well stimulation practices. The bill requires that DOGGR create rules and frameworks for permitting fracking, acidization and other well stimulation practices. It requires the monitoring of ground water, and disclosure of chemicals being used for well stimulation. Supporters of SB4 say that it is a huge step up from having no regulations
Many environmental groups cried foul when they felt that SB4 had been weakened and that it paved the way for unhindered fracking prior to its provisions taking affect. And groups who continue to push for a ban or moratorium on fracking say that SB4 may hinder Gov. Jerry Brown or any local government body from taking action. Pavley has said that is not the case, and that the bill does not interfere with the Governors authority to impose an emergency ban or moratorium if he sees fit to do so.
Parts of SB4 go into effect on January 1, 2014, while other parts will begin Jan. 1 2015. The rules being made public tomorrow
During the public hearings held throughout the state over the past year members of the public demanded stronger oversight, more requirements regarding notification and disclosure of what chemicals are used. SB4 has added requirements of ground water monitoring and notification of neighboring property owners and tenants.
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Will your local media be covering this issue? Are they educated about the issue?
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