Kimberly Rivers, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Local groups are appealing a project allowing 19 new oil wells in Upper Ojai near Thomas Aquinas College, along the popular Punchbowl hiking trail. The appeal comes on the heels a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation into whether California aquifers that should have been protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act have been put in jeopardy because the state failed to prohibit injection wells in certain protected aquifers.
In Ventura County, 24 disposal injection wells and 51 injection wells permitted for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes are under investigation. This includes 5 wells in the Sespe Oil Field and an active disposal well near Thomas Aquinas, which is the same disposal well to be used for the new wells.