Community unites against Petrochem proposal

CFROG has learned that our appeal of a decision by the Ventura County Planning Director to approve another polluting use for the old Petrochem property north of Ventura will not be necessary. An Indiana-based firm, Real Estate Recovery Capital, purchased the property from the original owner and will not go forward with the vehicle and contractor storage yard approved for the site. The new owner has indicated further cleanup is necessary and that the property will be resold.

Read more about this ill-conceived project proposed for the gateway to the Ojai Valley.

No new tar sands

A recent U.S. Geological Survey report found petroleum-related gases in two Oxnard groundwater wells sited directly over cyclic steam oil recovery operations, and possibly a third. An operator was proposing 79 new tar sands wells near multiple water wells between Oxnard and Camarillo, but the county shut them down for mass violations of their permits.

We helped pass a moratorium to stop any new cyclic steam activities in this area.

Environmental justice for Oxnard

There are 1,400 low-income residents living in Oxnard Pacific Mobile Estates in Oxnard with homes as close as 1,665 feet to a drill pad, with another nearby. This oilfield was proposed to be expanded to four new oil wells, an oil and gas processing facility, and a flare to burn off gas produced at the project. The production facility was being built to separate oil, water and gas for a minimum of 20 permitted oil wells, causing more air pollution and truck traffic in the area.

CFROG and Food & Water Watch appealed the approval of this project and on Sept. 24, 2019 the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted for a resolution of denial. 

The community turned out to speak against this expanded oilfield. Clearly, the citizens of Oxnard are tired of being surrounded by unhealthy industrial activities. Read more here.

Keep this toxic facility shut down

The Santa Clara Waste Water facility in Santa Paula is in a league of its own locally for its documented dangerous practices. The site of a 2014 explosion caused by the mishandling of chemicals which left several first responders permanently unable to work, it now could reopen under a new name.

Find out why the City of Oxnard is vehemently protesting the proposal to reopen.

No new fracking on public lands

CFROG was dismayed to learn of the Bureau of Land Management's recent proposal to further open public lands to fracking and other oil and gas development. More than 1 million acres of federal land, including areas that the federal government just owns the below-surface mineral rights to, could be leased to oil companies for drilling and fracking.

Ventura County will be impacted. Learn how.

VENTURA COUNTY FRACKING & ACIDIZING

  • GOAL: Ensuring environmental and land use laws apply to all oil drilling in Ventura County
  • COALITION: Environmental Defense Center, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (“CAUSE”), Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (“CFROG”), Sierra Club, Los Padres Chapter, and Ventura Audubon Society

People across the south central coast have for years been voicing concerns about hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the process by which sand, water, and an unknown cocktail of chemicals is forced down an oil well to fracture rock, and acidizing where hydrochloric and hydroflouric acids are injected to dissolve  rock and access oil. So Ventura updated its oil application process to require new drilling proposals involving fracking or acidizing to provide detailed information, including the source and amount of freshwater used, and disposal methods for frac flowback and other wastewater.

However, an EDC investigation found that between 2012-2014, the County unlawfully exempted 95% of all oil wells – more than 400 wells – from discretionary review or application of modern County ordinances, including the new fracking and acidizing rules.

The County allowed this unregulated drilling because the wells operate under old, “antiquated” permits that were in many cases first issued in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s! Due to an opinion issued by County Counsel finding that oil companies have “vested rights,” the County has neglected to apply environmental or land use laws to regulate these wells, which are in both densely populated urban areas and largely undisturbed natural areas.

This County policy has in essence permitted oil companies to drill as many wells as they want, wherever they want, in perpetuity, without additional discretionary review.

Climate action in General Plan Update

It is critical that Ventura County gets it right in the climate elements of its General Plan Update, now newly released. Working for the health of the planet is CFROG's core mission and we believe the effects of climate change will impact Ventura County profoundly — from the wildfires which have raged out of control to coastal infrastructure now threatened by sea-level rise.

Here's how YOU can take action to advocate for strong climate language in Ventura County's General Plan Update.