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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense
Analysis Finds 100 Violations of California Fracking Disclosure Rules
SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity called on Gov. Jerry Brown today to investigate more than 100 violations of California’s new public disclosure rules for fracking and other dangerous oil production methods. The violations were uncovered by a Center analysis of records from the state, the oil industry and South Coast air quality regulators.
In a letter to the governor, the Center pointed out that state regulators with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources have failed to disclose legally mandated reports for 47 frack jobs and notices for more than 100 uses of other risky oil production techniques. “This lack of disclosure underscores the failure of current regulations and the need for strong action that will protect public health and safety and the environment,” the letter says.
“Californians are in the dark about dangerous fracking in their communities because Gov. Brown’s oil regulators won’t follow their own minimal notification rules,” said Center attorney Hollin Kretzmann. “These regulatory failures are another reminder of the urgent need to halt fracking to protect our air and water from contamination.”
Among the problems revealed by the Center’s analysis:
* Missing Fracking Reports: At least 47 frack jobs in Southern California in January and February do not have a well stimulation report on DOGGR’s website, despite a requirement that such documents be posted 60 days after the fracking event.
* Late posting: Dozens of other fracking reports were posted late — and only after the Center informed state officials of the unlawful delay.
* Missing chemical data: Other fracking reports are missing critical information, including the chemical composition of fracking waste fluid and where this fluid was disposed of. A Kern County oil company was recently fined for disposing of such fracking wastewater in an unlined pit.
* Missing Acidizing Notices: The state’s website does not show notices for 57 uses of acidization in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Acidizing uses high quantities of hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids in combination with other harmful chemicals to dissolve oil-bearing formations underground.
* Missing Gravel Packing Notices: Gravel packing, a well stimulation method that uses dangerous chemicals, has occurred in Orange and Los Angeles counties approximately 51 times so far this year, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Yet state oil regulators have not posted a notice of a single instance of gravel packing from anywhere in the state, despite regulations requiring such notification.
A recent Center report found that fracking, acidizing and gravel packing operations employed 12 dangerous “air toxic” chemicals hundreds of times in the Los Angeles Basin over a period of a few months.
“Gov. Brown must recognize that halting fracking and the other dangerous well stimulation methods is the only way to protect Californians,” Kretzmann said.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.