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The Department of Conservation provides services and information that promote environmental health, economic vitality, informed land-use decisions and sound management of our state's natural resources.
Underground Injection Control (UIC) News and Information
EMERGENCY REGULATIONS FOR UNDERGROUND INJECTION ARE NOW IN PLACE
On April 2, 2015, the Department of Conservation noticed its intent to propose the adoption of emergency regulations necessary to protect public health, safety and the environment, and to bring California’s Class II Underground Injection Control program into compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. This action was taken in accordance with Government Code sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the California Administrative Procedures Act. These regulations have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and are now in effect.
To access documents associated with the emergency rulemaking action and the text of the emergency regulations, please click here
DOGGR's Action Plan Receives U.S. EPA Approval
California regulatory authorities on Friday, February 6, submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a plan to correct deficiencies in the regulation of underground injection. The response included a 12-page letter, prepared by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the State Water Resources Control Board, and four supporting documents, all of which are linked below. The plan focuses on the enhanced protection of California aquifers from contamination due to oil and gas production.
More information about the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources UIC program, as well as issues related to SB 4 and well stimulation, can be found here.
April 20-21 Mining Conference
The Sierra Fund is holding its third bi-annual conference, "Reclaiming the Sierra 2015: The New Gold Rush", to address the ongoing effects of historic mining on April 20-21, 2015 at Sacramento State University. The California Department of Conservation/Office of Mine Reclamation is a co-sponsor. This year, an entire conference track will be devoted to prioritizing efforts to address legacy contamination and physical hazards, the 150-year-old remnants of California's Gold Rush. Register online and get more information on the conference website at www.reclaimingthesierra.org.
CGS Contributes to Earthquake Forecast
The recently released Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, or UCERF3, is a long-term earthquake forecast for California. The California Geological Survey was one of the co-authors of the study, which does not predict earthquakes but rather discusses the likelihood of earthquakes of various size around the state. The latest version of the study includes an improved understanding of the state’s complex system of active faults. It acknowledges that more than one fault can rupture in a large earthquake. What that means is that compared to the UCERF2 report, the likelihood of a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake – the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 was a magnitude 7.8 – has increased slightly over the next 30 years. But fear not: An earthquake of that size still is expected only once every 494 years. The good news: the likelihood of a significantly smaller yet still potentially damaging quake in the magnitude 6.7 range (think the 1994 Northridge Earthquake) has decreased. The UCERF2 report estimated there would be a shaker of that size once every 4.8 years. UCERF3 puts it at every 6.3 years.
- The Office of Administrative Law has approved the Department of Conservation's emergency rulemaking for the use of underground injection for oil and gas production in California. Read all about it here.
- March 22-28 is Tsunami Preparedness Week. Read about how the California Geological Survey is working with other state, federal and local entities to ensure that California coastal communities are prepared for these dangerous geologic phenomena.
- DOC's Division of Land Resource Protection, the federal government and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. permanently set aside the Castro Ranch in Sutter County for agriculture and habitat. Learn more here.
- The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has directed that 12 underground injection wells be shut-in to protect groundwater and public health. See the news release.
- The Department of Conservation, in cooperation with the State Water Resources Control Board, on February 6 provided the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a plan to correct deficiencies in its regulatory program of underground injection for oil and natural gas production in California. Read more here.
- The Department of Conservation's California Farmland Conservancy Program (CFCP) is accepting proposals to offset farmland loss associated with the California high-speed rail alignment through the Central Valley. The High-Speed Rail Authority has $20 million budgeted for farmland mitigation in the first stage of development. Properties in Fresno and Madera counties are the focus of current efforts. More information can be found here.
- Landowner Sibley Fedora's family migrated to the United States on the Mayflower and acquired the Sutter County property he still lives and ranches on in the late 1800s. Thanks to an agricultural conservation easement, the Dept. of Conservation, the USDA and the Sutter Butte Regional Land Trust, 376-acres of the Fedora Farm will permanently be preserved for agriculture. Read all about it here.
- The California Geological Survey issued final versions of two regulatory maps to aid in land-use planning in the greater Los Angeles area. These Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone Maps outline zones of required site investigations along the Hollywood Fault as well as additional active faults in the Monrovia-Duarte-Azusa areas. View the maps here. Read the news release here.
- The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) announced steps to review the state's Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program in order to ensure that the program fully complies with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, designed to prevent waste water associated with oil production from being injected into aquifers containing water suitable for human or agricultural use. Read more here.