Recently, CFROG engaged in a bit of an Op Ed volley with the Ventura County Planning Department. CFROG Advisory Board member wrote a guest column. Planning Department Chair Kim Prillhart responded. Then CFROG President John Brooks wrote a guest column in response to that.Read more
Ventura County Star - 5-22-14
Reporter Cheri Carlson
A hearing on a proposal to drill wells in an abandoned oil field north of Piru drew a standing-room-only crowd in Ventura on Thursday.
About three dozen people crowded into a small conference room for the two-hour meeting at the Ventura County planning agency.
Most urged the county to require more environmental review before a decision was made on the permit, one of several proposals from oil and gas companies under review in Ventura County.
Local residents told state officials Wednesday they want to know how hydraulic fracturing affects their water, air and land.
Close to 250 people, including county Supervisor Linda Parks and representatives for several other local elected officials, turned out for a state hearing at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center. Dozens testified about what they want studied in an environmental review of well-stimulation practices used by the energy industry...
Please read this fabulous report by CFROG's own lawyer, Environmental Defense Center Staff Attorney Brian Segee.
The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) has announced the release of Dirty Water: Fracking Offshore California, a report providing the first comprehensive analysis of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) conducted from oil platforms located in federal waters off California's shores, and outlining a series of policy recommendations that the Obama administration should take in order to guard against an offshore drilling disaster involving fracking. California's offshore platforms are largely concentrated within the Santa Barbara Channel, renowned globally for its beauty, richness of wildlife, and overall health of the environment.
"The revelation that fracking is occurring off California's shores is an alarming surprise to everyone who cherishes our state's unparalleled and irreplaceable shoreline, particularly since federal regulators appear to have been largely unaware of the use of this dangerous technology from offshore oil platforms," stated Brian Segee, co-author of the report and EDC Staff Attorney. "If we are to avoid yet another offshore disaster like the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, it is imperative that the Obama administration implement an immediate moratorium on offshore fracking."
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D Pa.) has introduced the Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations (CLEANER) Act along with Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2). The legislation, introduced with 43 co-sponsors and endorsed by CFROG and 136 other organizations from across the country aims to eliminate a hazardous waste exemption that was added onto the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1980. That amendment, which exempted oil and gas companies from having to comply with hazardous waste disposal standards, would be removed under the CLEANER Act, forcing oil, gas and geothermal companies to play by the same rules as other industries.
“Under current federal law, oil and gas companies do not even have to test their waste to see if it is toxic, leaving us with no way of knowing what is being disposed of and how it is being treated. It is time oil and gas companies comply with existing minimum standards and oversight,” said Cartwright.
“The CLEANER Act will better protect the public and the environment from hazardous waste produced by the oil and gas industry,” Congressman Huffman said. “We need to close this loophole so that oil and gas companies play by the same rules as everyone else.”
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 requires the safe disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials. In 1980, RCRA was amended to exempt waste from the production and development of oil and natural gas (“exploration & production” waste) and geothermal waste.
“RCRA is meant to protect the public and the environment from hazardous waste. Toxins pose health and environmental risks no matter what industry produces them. It’s time to hold oil and natural gas producers to the same standards that other industries have complied with for over 30 years,” said Cartwright.
The task of regulating disposal of these wastes is currently left to states, with mixed results. Recent articles have shown the extent of the problem and highlight the potentially fatal consequences.
"For too long now, the oil and gas industry has taken advantage of the American public by securing exemptions from many of our nation's commonsense health and environmental safety laws. Closing these loopholes is the only way we can protect the air we breathe and the water drink. Representative Matt Cartwright's legislation to hold toxic pollution from drilling and fracking up to the same standards as other industrial poisons is an important place to start,” said Mike Brune, Executive Director of The Sierra Club. “It is a courageous move to put the health and well-being of the American people before the financial interests of the nation's wealthiest corporations, and the Sierra Club stands beside Representative Cartwright."
"It's clear to everyone that the 1.3 billion gallons of fracking waste generated in Pennsylvania over the last few years, which is often laced with numerous toxins and cancer-causing chemicals, is hazardous to our health and environment," said Adam Garber, PennEnvironment Field Director. "The CLEANER Act will ensure that companies can no longer spray this toxic fluid on our roads, dump hundreds of thousands of gallons into water treatment facilities, or use it to water cattle. We applaud Congressman Cartwright for trying to make the law follow what we all already know: fracking wastewater is hazardous to our health."
CFROG held its first fundraiser and it was a great success.
We can now take another step in the direction of a new era of evaluating , regulating and monitoring oil and gas development in Ventura County. A special guest was VC Supervisor Steve Bennett who challenged us to document our concerns about unreported spills and other oil field violations and bring them to him. Please join us at CFROG.org and donate if you can.
CFROG is featured in the current "Messenger" from the Environmental Defense Center.Read more
May 7, 2013
Kimberly Rivers, OVN correspondent
Local residents are forming a nonprofit organization aimed at working with stakeholders to ensure oil and gas operations in Ventura County have “effective oversight.”
Citizens For Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) was formed by a group of 20 west county residents, in response to what they deem has been a lack of environmental review by Ventura County, which recently approved nine new oil wells and two wells to be reopened in the area above Thomas Aquinas College in Upper Ojai.Read more
Marjorie Hernandez, VC Star
Originally published 06:01 p.m., May 7, 2013
Updated 06:24 p.m., May 7, 2013
Residents opposing plans that allow a Santa Paula-based company to operate 11 gas wells in Upper Ojai filed appeals with the county this week.
The two appeals were filed with the Ventura County Planning Department on May 3 and Monday, said Brian Baca, county commercial and industrial section manager. Monday was the last day to file an appeal. Another date will be set when the appellants may state their case to Ventura County Planning Commission members, Baca said.
One appeal was filed by residents who formed a group called Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas.Read more