California Releases Draft Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing

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The California Department of Conservation (DOC) released the state’s proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing. The proposed regulations require well operators to:

 

  • Obtain permits from the state before beginning hydraulic fracturing operations;
  • Give 72 hours’ notice to residents near the hydraulic fracturing location before activities begin;
  • Create a groundwater monitoring program certified by the Regional Water Board; and
  • Operators to disclose chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process except those that fall under the trade secret provisions.

The regulations will be implementation by January 1, 2015. DOC will also have emergency regulations ready by January 1, 2014. These will be used for a one year period so that owners or operators may proceed with well stimulation treatments without a permit if they comply with specified provisions of SB4. The proposed regulations are now open for a 60 day public comment period. There will be five public hearings in early January for the public to attend and also submit comments at in Sacramento, Long Beach, Bakersfield, Salinas and Santa Maria.