On July 25, the California Department of Conservation (DOC) and its Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOG) will conduct the seventh and final workshop in a series of public workshops designed to elicit public comment on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in California. Wednesday’s concluding workshop is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) Headquarters, Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814 (map). Those unable to attend the workshop in person should be able to view and/or listen via the internet (here).
Hinson Gravelle & Adair LLP attorney Eric Adair will attend the Sacramento workshop. Signal permitting, Eric will live-tweet the event. Follow Eric on Twitter: Follow @kericadair.
As we have previously reported on the blog, the purpose of the workshops is to gather information as the DOC considers the adoption of regulations governing fracking. Prior workshops have been conducted in Bakersfield, Ventura, Culver City, Long Beach, Salinas, and Monterey. As with the prior sessions we have attended, the workshop will begin with an overview of oil and gas production in California, including discussion of California’s geologic formations where oil and natural gas are found. Existing well construction requirements and what those regulations protect against will follow. The overview presentation will also focus on technical, non-policy aspects of hydraulic fracturing. An example of the materials distributed by the DOC as part of its presentation at a past workshop may be found here (pdf).
Following the DOC’s overview, the meeting will be opened to the public for questions and comments. We anticipate statements from representatives of various industry groups, such as the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA), and the Independent Oil Producers’ Agency, who have attended and spoken at past workshops. We also expect a strong presence from various environmental groups. Several such groups, including the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action, have announced their plans to stage an anti-fracking rally at the workshop. Needless to say, the workshop promises to be an interesting and energized meeting.
The DOC will use input from the workshops and from an independent scientific study of the practice of hydraulic fracturing to prepare draft regulations for circulation to interested and affected parties. The DOC expects to start the rulemaking process by later Summer or early Fall 2012, and welcomes public comment on that process. Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding this matter, please contact Eric Adair. You may also wish to review the video of a July 2 informational webinar on fracking presented by the DOC. The video (which cannot be embedded here) may be found on the DOC’s website (here), along with information about the speakers at the webinar (here).