Your Voice Matters at CalGEM Public Health Meetings

Your voice matters. We mean it.

DOC’s California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) has begun a series of 10 meetings around the state to hear the public’s comments and suggestions about how we can develop regulations to better protect health, safety, and the environment near oil and gas production operations.

Creating new rules will take about a year. These meetings are the first step, providing insight from the people who live and work near the oil patch that will – along with the best science and data – guide the upcoming formal regulatory process.

The first two meetings, in the heart of California’s oil industry, have been instructive, drawing residents of Arvin and Bakersfield, representatives of environmental and social justice organizations, health officials, local governments, and industry.

LisaHalkoAtCalGEMPublicHealthMeeting2020
Lisa Halko, DOC chief counsel, speaks with an attendee at the Bakersfield meeting.

Some attendees have asked for setbacks – to put some distance between oil/gas operations and homes, schools, and other civil structures. Some think more emissions monitoring is needed. We’ve also learned that an unexpected source of smells and noises that makes for bad neighbors isn’t the oil and gas facilities themselves, but rather the diesel-powered generators that some facilities use for power.

Do you agree with those ideas? Do you have a different concern or a remedy you’d like to recommend? We’d like to hear it.

SpanishTranslatorForPublicHealthMeetings2020
Translations are available for all meetings. Selin Cacao Founder / CEO of Focus Interpreting provided Spanish translations in Bakersfield.

The next meeting is March 4 in Santa Maria and there are seven additional opportunities to have your say in March and April.

CalGEM will provide some basic information and some key stakeholders will speak briefly. But mainly it’s a listening session, whether you want to speak or provide a written comment.

You can also send us your thoughts and ideas via email to CalGEMRegulations@conservation.ca.gov,

We hope you can make it to one of the meetings.

Leave a Reply