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Sen. Pavley: Fracking Gains More Attention

Nationally, there is a growing concern and controversy over an oil well drilling technique called "fracking."

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I've included the following newsletter article from California Senator Fran Pavley (23rd Senate District) to help bring you up to date on oil and gas fracking in California.

Legislative Update: "Fracking" Gains More Attention

Nationally, there is a growing concern and controversy over an oil well drilling technique called "fracking." Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is an oil well stimulation technique where a large quantity of water - between hundreds of thousands and up to several million gallons - is mixed with a variety of chemicals and injected into the oil well at sufficient pressure to induce cracking in the rock formations where the subsurface hydrocarbon reservoir is located. The cracking action allows for the release of oil, natural gas and other deep well resources. Investigators have found evidence of groundwater and other contamination in several states where fracking is common including Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas.

In California, fracking is primarily used for oil drilling. Through industry reports, financial websites and local permitting action, it is documented that wells have been fracked in Los Angeles, Ventura, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Kern Counties.

I am the author of Senate Bill 1054 which is based upon a simple and straightforward concept - the courtesy of giving neighbors and homeowners notice of activity that may affect their water wells and land. SB 1054 would require well owners and operators to notify neighbors before undertaking drilling or fracking operations. The advance notice will provide neighbors time to prepare if they have any concerns - for example, the need to test and monitor their well water. The bill would require the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources within the California Department of Conservation, to annually report to the Legislature to ensure notification compliance.

If your neighbor was going to remodel their house, you'd be told about it in advance. No one should come home from work and find a new oil well or find out an existing well is being fracked on the property next door without advance notice. SB 1054 is currently under consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Department of Conservation is hosting a series of workshops to discuss the practice of fracking. Each workshop will begin with an overview presentation on the use of fracking and to hear public comment.

These workshops are intended as an information gathering exercise to advise the Department about specific public concerns regulations could address. Workshops being planned in our area include:

Wednesday May 30 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Ventura County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura, CA 93009

There are workshops also scheduled for Culver City on Tuesday June 12 and in Long Beach on Wednesday June 13. The time and locations have not been posted yet but please check the California Department of Conservation website for updates or please contact Senator Pavley's office if you need any information.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| oil | natural gas | petroleum | water pollution |

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