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California | North Coast | Environment & Forest Defense

Frac ALERT for Coastal and Northern California Basin Aquifers
by Tomas DiFiore
Tuesday Jan 7th, 2014 2:22 PM
Two weeks ago, and with just 7-9 days left to make comments, - Clarification language was added by DOGGR that an aquifer deemed exempt under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act is not protected water. Much of this comes from the Underground Injection Program, basically left out of the 'new' fracking regulations. Except, that is, as it benefits the industry, with clarification of remote aquifer exemptions to assist extractive industrial surface leases by alter-legal claims on subsurface water rights pertaining to hydrocarbon extraction.
Frac ALERT for Coastal and Northern California Basin Aquifers

Sometime between Christmas and New Years, at most two weeks ago, and with just 7-9 days left to make comments, - Clarification language was added by DOGGR that an aquifer deemed exempt under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act is not protected water. Much of this comes from the Underground Injection Program, basically left out of the 'new' fracking regulations.

Except, that is, as it benefits the industry, with clarification of remote aquifer exemptions to assist extractive industrial surface leases by legal claims on subsurface water rights pertaining to mining and hydrocarbon extraction methods including 'hazardous' waste disposal.

This clarification especially pertains to the remote aquifer basins of the Northern State and Coastal Basins and favors again the production of hydrocarbons whether it be conventional, non-conventional oil and gas or unassociated (non-associated) gas. As referenced in code, it includes aquifers as sources for use in Enhanced Oil Recovery i.e., full oil field Steam Floods and steam fracking, also Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage tar sands extraction, as at Oxnard.

Close of comments on FRACKING, ACIDIZING and Well Stimulation Regulations
The current Interim Regulations that WILL become Fracking law on January 1, 2015.
Public comments are due by 5:00 pm January 14, 2014
AND
Close of comments on Environmental Impact Report (EIR) “to evaluate the impacts of existing and potential future oil and gas well stimulation treatments occurring within California.”
Public comments due by 5:00 pm January 16, 2014

What makes an aquifer exempt? These rules stem from the Federal/State laws of 'Primacy' regarding enforcement of EPA standards etc, in response to Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, mining, oil and gas, claims to Aquifer Basins - time frame of 1984.

AQUIFER EXEMPTION SUMMARY SHEET
EXEMPTION DESCRIPTION (Township, Range, Section, Quarter section and affected area):
FIELD; AQUIFER TO BE EXEMPTED; JUSTIFICATION FOR EXEMPTION;
Aquifer is not a source of drinking water and will not serve as a source of drinking water in the future because it:
Has a TDS level above 3,000 and not reasonably expected to serve as a source of drinking water
Is producing or capable to produce hydrocarbons
Is producing or capable to produce minerals
Is too deep or too remote
Is above Class III area subject to subsidence
Is too contaminated (name contaminant (s));
The Consolidated Permits Regulations (40 CFR §§146.04 and 144.7) allow EPA, or approved States programs with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concurrence, to exempt underground sources of drinking water from protection under certain circumstances. An underground source of drinking water may be exempted if:

1. It does not currently serve as a source of drinking water and;
2. It cannot now and will not in the future serve as a source of drinking water because:

(a) If is mineral, hydrocarbon, or geothermal energy producing, or it can be demonstrated by a permit applicant as a part of a permit application for a Class II or III operation to contain minerals or hydrocarbons that considering their quantity and location are expected to be commercially producible;
(b) It is situated at a depth or location which makes recovery of water for drinking water purposes economically or technologically impractical;
(c) It is so contaminated that it would be economically or technologically impractical to render that water fit for human consumption; or
(d) It is located over a Class III well mining area subject to subsidence or catastrophic collapse; or

3. The Total Dissolved Solids content of the ground water is more than 3,000 and less than 10,000 mg/l and it is not reasonably expected to supply a public water system.

Specific Information

§146.04 (b)(1) It cannot now and will not in the future serve as a source of drinking water because: it is mineral, hydrocarbon, or geothermal energy producing or can be demonstrated by a permit applicant as part of a permit application for a Class II or III operation to contain minerals or hydrocarbons that considering their quantity and location are expected to be commercially producible.

Much of this comes from the Underground Injection Program, basically left out of the 'new' fracking regulations, except per the benefit of the industry, i.e., with a clarification of aquifer exemptions to assist extractive industrial surface leases by alter-legal claims on subsurface water rights pertaining to mining and hydrocarbon extraction methods including 'hazardous' waste disposal.

SB 4 and DOGGR are quite clear:
(2) “Underground injection project” or “subsurface injection or disposal project” means
sustained or continual injection into one or more wells over an extended period in order
to add fluid to a zone for the purpose of enhanced oil recovery, disposal, or storage.
Examples of underground injection projects include waterflood injection, steamflood
injection, cyclic steam injection, injection disposal, and gas storage projects.
(b) Well stimulation treatments and underground injection projects are two distinct
kinds of oil and gas production processes. Unless a regulation expressly addresses
both well stimulation and underground injection projects,
(1) Regulations regarding well stimulation treatments do notapply to underground
injection projects; and
(2) Regulations regarding underground injection projects do not apply to well
stimulation.
(c) Well stimulation treatment on a well that is part of an underground injection project
is subject to the regulations regarding well stimulation treatment.

California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources

Regarding close of comments on FRACKING, ACIDIZING and Well Stimulation Regulations
The current Interim Regulations that WILL become Fracking law on January 1, 2015.
Public comments are due by 5:00 pm January 14, 2014
AND
Environmental Impact Report (EIR) “to evaluate the impacts of existing and potential future oil and gas well stimulation treatments occurring within California.”
Public comments due by 5:00 pm January 16, 2014

There are 2 parallel comment periods, ending two days apart.

DOGGR issued for public review and comment draft regulations that became effective on January 1, 2015. Public comments are due by 5:00 pm January 14, 2014

DOC also sent out Public Notice of Proposed Regulations for Well Stimulation Regulations EIR

DOC will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) “to evaluate the impacts of existing and potential future oil and gas well stimulation treatments occurring within California.”
Public comments due by 5:00 pm January 16, 2014

Comments regarding the proposed regulations can be submitted via email to DOGGRRegulations [at] 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, 95814
Attention: Well Stimulation Regulations

Comments regarding the EIR can be submitted via email to
SB4EIR [at] conservation.ca.gov

This is just a message phone, I called for verification.
(916) 322-1348

Written Scoping Comments can be sent via U.S. Mail:
California Department of Conservation
Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources
801 K Street, MS 18-00
Sacramento, CA 95814-3530


There are many good reasons to ban fracking, acidizing, ANY NEW OFFSHORE DRILLING, and any onshore drilling that intends to access offshore reserves.

In the Northern part of the State of California, we face the same impacts from fracking as the rest of the State where there is concern over an increase in exploitation of the Monterey Shale due to the new twin technologies of deviant horizontal slant drilling combined with fracking. The same impacts to our health through the air and water, and to the natural world, the same impacts to available amounts of water for livestock, farming, population growth, landscapes in and out of town. Our ecology and geology is shaky enough.

Water well baseline testing within the drilling notification period has extremely rigid standards. Including the allowed list of radionuclides, and it only gets worse. One must look at the total amount of good water in aquifers in the whole country, relative to food production. Then, look into the amount of contaminated aquifers throughout the US.

The Pacific NW thus far seems to have been spared the industrial claim to basin aquifers.

Oregon, Washington, and Idaho have 15 listed protected aquifers. California has zero.

As a concerned citizen, all information is provided to help simplify and make available both content and context In an effort to help educate and facilitate participation in California Resource Management decisions affecting the remote, rural North Coast and the North State within DOGGR District 6, and USGS Oil and Gas Province 7, State Water Resources Control Board Region One.

Visit my comment blog. Send in your comments even if your comment is just two words, like;
BAN FRACKING

North Coast River and Watershed Groups ALERT!
Tomas DiFiore

http://banslickwaterfracking.blogspot.com/

ps:
The EIR document can be downloaded here:
(without the X it is just another PowerPoint Presentation)

http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0SO80hWO8tS7SgAVCVXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzYmhndWFkBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkA01BUDAwNl8x/SIG=148oqrr7u/EXP=1389079510/**http%3a//http://www.conservation.ca.gov/index/Documents/SB%25204%2520EIR%2520Scoping%2520Mtg%2520Presentation%2520121113.pptx

Public & Agency
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/index/Documents/SB%204%20EIR%20...
Welcome. This event is a scoping meeting regarding the EIR required by Public Resources Code section 3161, subdivision (b)(3), otherwise known as SB 4.