CFROG applauds operator Carbon California for voluntarily opting to temporarily shut down the Ferndale Oil Lease (Santa Paula Canyon, behind Thomas Aquinas College) ahead of the impending "atmospheric river" storm event. The steep hillsides and canyons in the area were all burned in the Thomas Fire and present an impending risk to oil facilities, which could result in spills into Santa Paula Creek.
The land use permit governing this lease holds Ventura County responsible for requiring the oil field be shut down when major storm events that could result in public health, safety or environmental impacts could occur. The lease includes an unsupported pipeline across Santa Paula Creek.
In January, CFROG and partners Los Padres ForestWatch and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint against the County of Ventura for failing to enforce this permit condition prior to the first storm after the fire. Experts had said the hillsides were completely "denuded" and the potential for debris flow and mudslides were high. The County responded that they didn't feel there was an emergency, but that they had learned the oil field was still shut down from damage related to the Thomas Fire - so they hadn't needed to enforce the permit condition. Even though the condition also required the oil company to provide a post-storm report about any damage or potential risks to public health that may have occurred. WE continue to hope the county will enforce permit conditions the public relies on to protect the environment and public health/safety.
One of the issues CFROG has been pointing out to our local planning department and Board of Supervisors since 2013 is now highlighted by an editorial and front page story in todays VC Star. The agencies tasked with oil and gas oversight at the local and state levels are failing in their duty, and that fact needs to be considered when Ventura County approves new oil drilling or renews existing permits. (Photo: Los Padres ForestWatch, Santa Paula Canyon, Drill Pad 7)
Ventura County approves 3 new oil and gas wells on Oxnard Plain - on a Zoning Clearance.
No Public Review
No Environmental Impact Study
On Feb. 27 the Ventura County Planning Department approved the drilling of three new oil and gas wells on the Oxnard Plain on Wooley Road.
Red dots show current active wells near where new wells will be drilled. From Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)
On Feb. 7-8, 2018 in Bakersfield, County Tax Assessors from the oil producing parts of California, including Dan Goodwin, Ventura County Assessor, will meet for a conference at the Bakersfield Country Club. The event is jointly hosted by Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), an oil and gas industry lobbying group and the Petroleum Standards Advisory Committee (PSAC) of the California Assessors Association.
Remember, Tax Assessors are elected officials.
Does the public get to lobby at the conference for favorable tax rates?