Protect Fillmore's Water

Hey DOGGR & federal EPA - 

Protect Fillmore's Water

Say NO to more oil waste injection in the Sespe! 



What is an aquifer exemption?

An aquifer is an area underground that holds water. Aquifers that could be used for drinking or irrigation (and other uses) are protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. An oil company can apply to remove that protection by showing the aquifer cannot ever be used for any good uses – thus exempting it from the Safe Drinking Water Act. In an agreement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 9, our state oil and gas regulatory office – the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) handles aquifer exemption applications. DOGGR and the state Water Board examine the applications and technical evidence and if those two agencies "concur" a public comment period begins and then the application is submitted to Tomas Torres, Water Division Director, Region 9, Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

What is happening now in the Sespe behind Fillmore?

  • An oil company has applied to expand the area where it is allowed to inject oil field waste in an underground area called the Sespe Basal Formation in the canyons behind Fillmore.
  • The Sespe Basal’s southern edge – underground, comes within about one mile of the Fillmore Sub-basin – the groundwater basin that supplies drinking water to Fillmore – currently the ONLY source of water for Fillmore.
    • What is in oil field waste? produced water, which is brine water that comes up with oil and gas. That produced water can include various chemicals and compounds used in drilling including: detergents, biocides and other substances used to keep the well clean and clear and oil flowing out of the well.
    • What about fracking waste? If the company receives permits for fracking in the future, injected waste would include chemicals used
    • Injection for Enhanced Oil Recovery –the oil company can also inject steam and other compounds for other enhanced oil recovery processes



Important Dates/Action Items:

Monday, Nov. 6: Comment Writing in Fillmore: Details & RSVP HERE. 

  • Public Comment Period: now through November 8. Written comments can be submitted to 
    Department of Conservation 801 K Street,
    MS 24-02 Sacramento, CA 95814
    ATTN: Aquifer Exemption
  • Contact YOUR elected officials: Now call or write to your local (city, county), state and federal elected officials to let them know you want Fillmore's water protected from the hazards associated with expansion of oil waste injection in the Sespe. Ask them to send comments opposing the aquifer exemption to DOGGR and the EPA. 

Here is a link to the DOGGR website with all of the aquifer exemption documents and application.

Here is the letter CFROG and partners presented to the Fillmore City Council on October 10. 

Here is a recent article about oil waste injection being connected to earthquakes 

Here is an article in the Santa Paula times about a well casing failure in Ventura County that DOGGR reported was due to a "seismic event." 


Other Issues include:

  • Seismic/Earthquake concerns
  • Numerous Endangered and threatened species and over two dozen migratory birds could be impacted by increased activity including the California Condor, Steelhead trout; Coastal California Gnatcatcher; Least Bell’s Vireo; Southwestern Willow Flycatcher; Arroyo Toad; California Red-legged Frog; Riverside Fairy Shrimp; Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp; California Orcutt Grass; Black Skimmer; Black Swift; Black Turnstone; Black-chinned Sparrow; Burrowing Owl; California Thrasher; Common Yellowthroat; Costa’s Hummingbird; Lawrence’s Goldfinch; Lewis’s Woodpecker; Long-billed Curlew; Marbled Godwit; Mountain Plover; Nuttall’s Woodpecker; Oak Titmouse; Red Knot; Rufous
  • This expands oil waste injection into the Los Padres National Forest.
  • Removing this aquifer from the protection of the Safe Drinking Water Act opens the door to fracking.
  • In a world of worsening climate change, droughts are predicted to reoccur and become increasingly severe. We should not sacrifice water now that could one day be of beneficial use.

Want more info Contact CFROG:  /

Kimberly Rivers, Executive Director, cell: 805-727-1393

Citizens For Responsible Oil & Gas, we are a 501c3

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