Keep Our Air Clean!
General plan updates should be watched ! Local Action for Local Impact.
The Ventura County General Plan Update is underway - this is important - conservation minded, those who want more bike paths, folks concerned about Climate Change - should all be paying attention and participating in this public process. CFROG is mobilizing to make sure oil and gas land use/permitting policies put public health and the environment over oil and gas industry interests. The General Plan sets that policy - with this letter CFROG is hoping to activate the Ojai Valley to get involved - and understand what is at stake.
(Letter to the Editor, Kimberly Rivers, CFROG, Exec. Director, Printed Friday, May 19 in the Ojai Valley News)
Longtime Ojai Valley residents can probably recall smog days. Just a couple of decades ago air in the valley on those days was so poor that children were kept inside at school to limit exposure to the toxic air. Thankfully, county planners created air emission rules in the Ventura County General Plan (GenPlan). From Casitas Springs to Upper Ojai, projects that exceed limits (5 lbs./day ROC/NOx) are found to create a significant impact, and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is triggered. That rule has helped to clean our air. But the Ojai Valley is still in “severe non- attainment” for air quality according to state and federal standards. The 5-lb. rule must be maintained, and actual air emissions from all sources across the county must be reduced.
Our County Planning Department has signaled that they want to lift that 5-lb. per day rule — making it easier for all projects, including oil and gas, to be approved without an EIR in the Ojai Valley. This change would occur in the GenPlan Update process, currently under way. The new GenPlan will be in effect until 2040 and will govern all county land use decisions.
Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG), your watchdog group, is mobilizing to ensure that our elected officials and public agencies make our clean air and water the top priority in the Ventura County General Plan.There are already issues with existing oil and gas infrastructure and gaps in enforcement without rolling back the 5-lb. rule. Remember the crude oil tank that exploded in Upper Ojai last year? And the 30,000 gallons of oil leaked down a barranca in Ventura? There are over 3,000 active oil wells in the county, and hundreds of miles of active/ inactive pipes, some near water sources, schools and hospitals.
CFROG hopes that Ojai Valley residents will pay attention as the GenPlan Update goes forward, and join us in ensuring that oil and gas companies operate in an environmentally responsible way.
2. Follow CFROG's GenPlan Blog to stay up to date on the process.
3. Share with friends.
Sign up with CFROG: www.CFROG.org
For information on the VC GenPlan: www.vc2040.org