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Public asked to weigh in on draft public health rules for oil and gas industry

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On Wednesday Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m., two Zoom workshops will allow the public to weigh in on draft public health regulations for the oil and gas industry, including prohibiting new wells and facilities within a 3,200-foot setback from homes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other sensitive locations.

Pollution controls for existing wells and facilities within the same 3,200-foot setback area would also be required.

In order to register for the meeting, members of the public are encouraged to visit: https://bit.ly/30CDbM3.

The meeting is hosted by the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), which was renamed from the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), which operates under the state Department of Conservation.

The rules are being created to fulfill CalGEM’s recently strengthened mission to "protect public health, safety, and there environment," according to a CalGEM notice on its website about the meeting.

It is undertaking a process to update public health and safety protections for communities near oil and gas production operations. This process began in response to a November 2019 directive by Governor Gavin Newsom which can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3wW8ygE

The Ventura County government is defending itself against 11 lawsuits opposing the environmental and public health policies affecting the oil and gas industry that were included in its 2040 General Plan, adopted by the Board of Supervisors last year via a 3-2 vote in favor.

Supervisors Kelly Long and Bob Huber voted against the General Plan, which requires a 2,500-foot setback between new wells and schools, 1,500 feet between new wells and homes, and curtails gas flaring and trucking of oil.

The lawsuits are primarily to turn back the board’s approval of the General Plan, which includes requirements for updated environmental review for new applications for oil wells approved decades ago.

Those environmental requirements are on hold as a result of the lawsuits and are not currently enacted since a referendum is scheduled to go to voters in June on whether to repeal the rules in the General Plan.

To read the Scientific Advisory Panel response to CalGEM questions, visit: https://bit.ly/3Ci8Hfi.

To register for the Dec. 9 meeting, members of the public are encouraged to visit: https://bit.ly/3nIta97

Attendees can also join by phone by calling: 214-765-0479 or 888-278-0296, Conference Code: 596019

The proposed new regulations can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3kJmuWp

Questions about the regulations can be directed to CalGEM Public Transparency Office at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Public comments on draft regulations can be submitted through Dec. 21 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More information is available at: https://bit.ly/3CnRp08.

Both meetings will cover the same material and will be broadcast in both English and Spanish.

 

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