New Oil & Gas Rules Focus on Environmental Protection, Safety

By: Department of Conservation Director David Bunn

DOC continues to develop and adopt new regulations to ensure that public safety and the environment are protected during oil and gas production in California.

In 2018, DOC’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) finalized stronger, more comprehensive regulations for both underground natural gas storage and pipelines. DOGGR also formed a dedicated enforcement unit.

This year, new regulations focused on protecting groundwater were recently approved and will become effective April 1, 2019. The regulations impact underground injection control (UIC), a major component of California oil production.

Among the new requirements, oil and gas operators must conduct additional testing and monitoring, including well pressure and seismic activity; disclose chemical additives; and report more data to ensure they leave a smaller footprint on the land, air, and water — both now and in the future.

California has made major strides to reduce the demand for fossil fuels but will remain reliant on oil and gas for years to come. In the period of transition to greener energy, DOC and DOGGR will continue to look for ways to minimize and mitigate the impacts of production for the benefit of Californians and the environment.


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