December 5, 2013
In response to an investigation by (CFROG) Citizens For Responsible Oil & Gas, Ventura County has confirmed that Mirada Petroleum drilled an oil well in the upper Ojai Valley in the wrong place, without providing a report on the potential impact to the environment.
This continues CFROG’s effort to ensure strict adherence to terms and condition placed on oil companies that want to engage in risky well stimulation practices such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and pressure regulators into diligent monitoring to protect our health, safety and resources such as clean water.
In addressing CFROG’s code complaint concerning the “Nesbitt 5“ well, the Ventura County Planning Division confirmed the well was drilled a half mile from where it should have been placed and the county gave them permission to do it without the required environmental review. Mirada Petroleum of Santa Paula has been ordered to prepare a restoration plan by January 14th and quickly return the land to its previous pristine condition.
According to documents uncovered by CFROG volunteers and confirmed by Ventura County, the oil company said it would drill the well on an existing pad to avoid environmental harm. But after getting an exemption, bulldozed about an acre of native vegetation in the rolling hills along Highway 150 near Thomas Aquinas college for a new pad.
The Planning Division also validated CFROG’s second complaint that Mirada Petroleum failed to follow the terms of its new permit, granted in the spring of 2013, to place an additional nine new wells on another existing pad. A condition of that permit REQUIRED Mirada to file “Notice to Idle” documents for three older wells that were reached by tanker trucks from Koenigstein Road in violation of its previous permit. (Mirada acknowledged during the hearing of CFROG’s appeal that the road had been used for 17 years which compromised safety at the intersection on Highway 150). Ventura County has ordered Mirada to file the documents by December 30th but said since an inspection has shown that the wells are now shut down, there will be no fine.
CFROG is a new, non-profit citizen watchdog group that says if a new era of fracking and acidization of wells in Ventura County begins, it’s more important than ever that the safety and environmental requirements on the oil and gas industry be taken seriously. We will hold all oil companies to their promises and we are encouraged that the Ventura County planning division acknowledged its mistakes and took our complaints seriously.
John Brooks President * Rain Perry Treasurer * Helen Conly Secretary
Contact John Brooks 805-556-4001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org