Welcome to the California Department of Conservation
The Department of Conservation provides services and information that promote environmental health, economic vitality, informed land-use decisions and sound management of our state's natural resources.
Well Stimulation in California
As mandated by Senate Bill 4, operators who intend to conduct a well stimulation treatment must first submit written notice to the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources. The written notice must include information and certifications of compliance, including detailed information about the chemical constituents of the well stimulation fluids and their concentrations. The notices can be found here.
DOC Sends Out Public Notice of Interim Regulations for Well Stimulation
The California Department of Conservation (DOC) has sent out public notice of proposed rulemaking to establish interim regulations to govern oil and gas well stimulation treatment until DOC's proposed permanent regulations are completed and become effective. The proposed permanent regulations were publicly noticed on November 15. DOC anticipates that the permanent regulations will be effective on January 1, 2015. The text of the interim regulations can be found here.
The interim regulations are being established under an emergency rulemaking process (the notice is here) to ensure they're in place when Senate Bill 4 becomes effective on January 1, 2014. The emergency rulemaking process includes a limited opportunity to submit comments on the proposed regulations (click here for more information).
The interim regulations provide a fundamental baseline level of environmental protection while the more comprehensive regulations are being developed. Key components of SB 4 -- such as water quality monitoring and testing and public transparency -- are addressed in the interim regulations.
Additional information can be found here:
Some frequently asked questions about the interim regulations.
A narrative description of the interim well stimulation regulations.
Meanwhile, the 60-day public comment period for the proposed permanent regulations is ongoing. The regulations are designed to protect health, safety, and the environment, and supplement existing strong well construction standards.
The text of the proposed regulations can be found here. This effort is the product of a dozen public meetings to both solicit ideas on what the regulations ought to include and to receive comments on an unofficial "discussion draft" of regulations; extensive research of other states' regulations and of scientific studies; and input from other regulatory agencies, the environmental community, and the oil and gas industry.
Comments regarding the proposed regulations can be submitted via email to DOGGRRegulations@conservation.ca.gov; via FAX to (916) 324-0948; or via regular mail to the Department of Conservation Office of Governmental and Environmental Relations, 801 K Street MS 24-02, Sacramento, CA, 95814, Attention: Well Stimulation Regulations.
Comments will also be taken at five public hearings around the state:
Sacramento -- January 6, Sierra Room, California Environmental Protection Agency Building, 10th & I streets, 3-7 p.m.
Long Beach -- January 6, California State University-Long Beach auditorium, 1212 Bellflower Boulevard, 3-7 p.m.
Bakersfield -- January 8, Kern County Administrative Center, first floor board chambers, 1115 Truxtun Avenue, 3-7 p.m.
Salinas -- January 8, National Steinbeck Center, One Main Street, 3-7 p.m.
Santa Maria -- January 13, Santa Barbara County supervisors hearing room, 511 East Lakeside Parkway, 3-7 p.m.
The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources must certify an environmental analysis of SB 4 by July 1, 2015. Also the Natural Resources Agency must commission an independent scientific study of well stimulation by January 1, 2015; a timeline for the study is being developed.
Frequently asked questions can be found here
A narrative about the development of the proposed regulations
A glossary of oil and gas terminology
The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources hydraulic fracturing information page
The Senate Bill 4 Implementation Plan
Documents related to the Department of Conservation's rulemaking efforts can be found here
If you wish to subscribe to a Listserv for information about the ongoing process of developing hydraulic fracturing regulations, click here.
DOC Submits Notice of Preparation for SB 4 EIR
SB 4 also requires the Department/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to prepare an Environmental Impact Report to analyze the impacts of well stimulation treatments. An amended Notice of Preparation for this EIR (required by CEQA) can be found here.
Suggestions of the content and scope of the EIR will be taken at five public scoping meetings around the state (the first two, in Oakland and Sacramento, have been held):
Bakersfield -- December 12, Kern County Library, Beale Memorial Auditorium, 701Truxtun Avenue, 4-8 p.m.
Ventura -- January 8, Ventura College Performing Arts Center, 4700 Loma Vista Road, 4-8 p.m.
Long Beach -- January 9, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Boulevard, 4-8 p.m.
- Public input on the scope and content of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for statewide well stimulation activities will be taken at five upcoming scoping meetings. The meetings are aimed at local governments, public agencies, organizations and individuals. Once in draft form, the EIR will be circulated for specific comments on its analysis and conclusions.
- The DOC has sent out public notice of proposed regulations for well stimulation treatment for oil and gas production. The public notice begins the formal rulemaking process and marks the beginning of a 60-day public comment period.
- The California Geological Survey (CGS) recently completed a trench study across the West Tahoe Fault in an effort to learn how often large earthquakes occur in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Ultimately, CGS may use information from the trenching project and previous research from along the fault from the bottom of Lake Tahoe to create seismic hazard maps for ground rupture, liquefaction, tsunami inundation, and landslides.
- The state's Office of Mine Reclamation has completed a 3 1/2-year inventory of potentially dangerous abandoned mines on the National Park Service's California land.
- While scientists can't predict when a great earthquake producing a pan-Pacific tsunami will occur, thanks to new tools being developed by federal and state officials, scientists can now offer more accurate insight into the likely impacts when tsunamis occur. This knowledge can lead officials and the public to reduce the risk of the future tsunamis that will impact California. Read more here.
- State and local organizations have partnered to permanently set aside for agriculture a Butte County ranch potentially in the path of development. The Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Northern California Regional Land Trust (NCRLT) have created an agricultural conservation easement on the Pamma-Larkin farm one mile outside of Gridley's sphere of influence, working with the family to ensure it will never be developed.
- The California Geological Survey has partnered with the USGS Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR) project to evaluate the effects of a statewide tsunami scenario generated by a magnitude 9 earthquake off Alaska. CGS will participate with other SAFRR partners in a number of statewide workshops over the next several weeks. Click here for more information.