Assemblymember Kevin Mullin Shares Information on SB4 Fracking in California
Sen. Bill Monning: Fracking review needs teeth
Pavley’s leadership in negotiating the provisions included in SB 4 only strengthen her reputation as being an environmental champion.
If signed by the governor, SB 4 would establish a comprehensive regulatory program for oil and gas well stimulation treatments, such as hydraulic fracturing and acid well stimulation, with significant scrutiny and vigorous oversight by the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR). I am a strong advocate of SB 4 because advances in the hydraulic fracturing and acid well stimulation have made the development of previously uneconomical oil and gas reservoirs financially feasible, and this process is the major contributor to the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in many parts of the country. The widespread operation of these practices has created a surge of public concern and the need for industry regulation to defend against potential risks.
I understand the concerns because some people have been told that the amendments recently added to SB 4 exempt fracking and acid well stimulation from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. Please be assured that this information is absolutely incorrect.
To allow fracking without meaningful environmental review would be illegal under SB 4 and CEQA. Even during the interim period while regulations are being finalized, well stimulation activities may only be allowed to continue if all the environmental protections established in the bill are met in advance of the well stimulation treatment, including chemical disclosures, groundwater monitoring, well integrity testing, neighbor notification, and an assessment of seismic and other environmental risks.
The savings clause in SB 4 also eliminates the possibility that the DOGGR’s environmental review and mitigation requirements for fracking could be interpreted to preempt the governor, local governments, or any other agency from requiring additional review or mitigation pursuant to other laws, regulations or orders. In addition to these provisos, the bill also includes the development of an environmental impact report pursuant to CEQA. Moreover, the savings clause ensures that interim permitting authority is just a floor and not a ceiling on additional regulation by other agencies, the governor, DOGGR, the courts, and/or local governments.
All other fracking related legislation introduced this year, including bills that would have banned the practice of fracking, were defeated. SB 4 is the only legislative vehicle to regulate fracking that is still alive. The status quo, which does not allow the state to have a voice in the fracking process, is unacceptable. It is important to our communities and to all Californians to have knowledge about what may be happening in our own backyards.
Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, represents the Central Coast in Sacramento.
The full bill is presented below and can be viewed HERE
|Enrolled September 16, 2013|
|Passed IN Senate September 11, 2013|
|Passed IN Assembly September 11, 2013|
|Amended IN Assembly September 06, 2013|
|Amended IN Assembly September 03, 2013|
|Amended IN Assembly August 19, 2013|
|Amended IN Assembly August 06, 2013|
|Amended IN Assembly June 25, 2013|
|Amended IN Assembly June 18, 2013|
|Amended IN Senate May 24, 2013|
|Amended IN Senate May 07, 2013|
|Amended IN Senate April 24, 2013|
|Amended IN Senate March 11, 2013|
|Senate Bill||No. 4|
|Introduced by Senators Pavley and Leno
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Gray)
(Coauthors: Senators De León and Monning)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Alejo, Bloom, Levine, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Stone, and Williams)
|December 03, 2012|
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
Vote: MAJORITY Appropriation: NO Fiscal Committee: YES Local Program: YES
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
Article 3 (commencing with Section 3150) is added to Chapter 1 of Division 3 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article 3. Well Stimulation
“Additive” means a substance or combination of substances added to a base fluid for purposes of preparing well stimulation treatment fluid which includes, but is not limited to, an acid stimulation treatment fluid or a hydraulic fracturing fluid. An additive may, but is not required to, serve additional purposes beyond the transmission of hydraulic pressure to the geologic formation. An additive may be of any phase and includes proppants.
“Base fluid” means the continuous phase fluid used in the makeup of a well stimulation treatment fluid, including, but not limited to, an acid stimulation treatment fluid or a hydraulic fracturing fluid. The continuous phase fluid may include, but is not limited to, water, and may be a liquid or a hydrocarbon or nonhydrocarbon gas. A well stimulation treatment may use more than one base fluid.
“Hydraulic fracturing” means a well stimulation treatment that, in whole or in part, includes the pressurized injection of hydraulic fracturing fluid or fluids into an underground geologic formation in order to fracture or with the intent to fracture the formation, thereby causing or enhancing, for the purposes of this division, the production of oil or gas from a well.
“Well stimulation treatment fluid” means a base fluid mixed with physical and chemical additives, which may include acid, for the purpose of a well stimulation treatment. A well stimulation treatment may include more than one well stimulation treatment fluid. Well stimulation treatment fluids include, but are not limited to, hydraulic fracturing fluids and acid stimulation treatment fluids.
“Proppants” means materials inserted or injected into the underground geologic formation that are intended to prevent fractures from closing.
“Supplier” means an entity performing a well stimulation treatment or an entity supplying an additive or proppant directly to the operator for use in a well stimulation treatment.
“Surface property owner” means the owner of real property as shown on the latest equalized assessment roll or, if more recent information than the information contained on the assessment roll is available, the owner of record according to the county assessor or tax collector.
(a) For purposes of this article, “well stimulation treatment” means any treatment of a well designed to enhance oil and gas production or recovery by increasing the permeability of the formation. Well stimulation treatments include, but are not limited to, hydraulic fracturing treatments and acid well stimulation treatments.
“Acid well stimulation treatment” means a well stimulation treatment that uses, in whole or in part, the application of one or more acids to the well or underground geologic formation. The acid well stimulation treatment may be at any applied pressure and may be used in combination with hydraulic fracturing treatments or other well stimulation treatments. Acid well stimulation treatments include acid matrix stimulation treatments and acid fracturing treatments. Acid matrix stimulation treatments are acid treatments conducted at pressures lower than the applied pressure necessary to fracture the underground geologic formation.
“Flowback fluid” means the fluid recovered from the treated well before the commencement of oil and gas production from that well following a well stimulation treatment. The flowback fluid may include materials of any phase.
(a) On or before January 1, 2015, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall cause to be conducted, and completed, an independent scientific study on well stimulation treatments, including, but not limited to, hydraulic fracturing and acid well stimulation treatments. The scientific study shall evaluate the hazards and risks and potential hazards and risks that well stimulation treatments pose to natural resources and public, occupational, and environmental health and safety. The scientific study shall do all of the following:
(a) The division shall finalize and implement the regulations governing this article on or before January 1, 2015.
Section 3213 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
The history shall show the location and amount of sidetracked casings, tools, or other material, the depth and quantity of cement in cement plugs, the shots of dynamite or other explosives, acid treatment data, and the results of production and other tests during drilling operations. All data on well stimulation treatments pursuant to Section 3160 shall be recorded in the history.
Section 3215 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
(a) Within 60 days after the date of cessation of drilling, rework, well stimulation treatment, or abandonment operations, or the date of suspension of operations, the operator shall file with the district deputy, in a form approved by the supervisor, true copies of the log, core record, and history of work performed, and, if made, true and reproducible copies of all electrical, physical, or chemical logs, tests, or surveys. Upon a showing of hardship, the supervisor may extend the time within which to comply with this section for a period not to exceed 60 additional days.
Section 3236.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
(a) A person who violates this chapter or a regulation implementing this chapter is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for each violation. A person who commits a violation of Article 3 (commencing with Section 3150) is subject to a civil penalty of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) per day per violation. An act of God and an act of vandalism beyond the reasonable control of the operator shall not be considered a violation. The civil penalty shall be imposed by an order of the supervisor pursuant to Section 3225 upon a determination that a violation has been committed by the person charged. The imposition of a civil penalty under this section shall be in addition to any other penalty provided by law for the violation. When establishing the amount of the civil penalty pursuant to this section, the supervisor shall consider, in addition to other relevant circumstances, all of the following:
Section 3401 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
(a) The proceeds of charges levied, assessed, and collected pursuant to this article upon the properties of every person operating or owning an interest in the production of a well shall be used exclusively for the support and maintenance of the department charged with the supervision of oil and gas operations.
Section 10783 is added to the Water Code, to read:
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that protecting the state’s groundwater for beneficial use, particularly sources and potential sources of drinking water, is of paramount concern.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.