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Public workshop on fracking regulations coming to the Monterey Bay

Posted: Thursday, Mar 7th, 2013

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) and its Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources announced Thursday a public workshop on the “discussion draft” of California’s hydraulic fracturing regulations will be held in the Monterey Bay area.

An exact location and time has yet to be finalized.

Getting a public workshop in the region was the focus of a grassroots effort by local community members concerned about the impact hydraulic fracturing may have on an area that includes a section of the Monterey Shale formation, estimated to contain 15.4 billion barrels of shale oil.

State Senator Bill Monning (17th district), Assemblyman Luis Alejo (30th district) and Assemblyman Mark Stone (29th district) also made a formal request to the department in a letter dated Feb 7.

The goal of the regulations is to provide regulators and the public with disclosure of hydraulic fracturing details, to protect public health, and to give the oil and gas industry a clear set of standards for which it will be accountable when using hydraulic fracturing.

The discussion draft regulations focus on evaluation of the wells involved before hydraulic fracturing takes place, and monitoring during and after the hydraulic fracturing process to ensure that the well is not damaged and no leaks occur into sensitive underground areas, thus protecting groundwater.

“It is the department’s goal to have final regulations within the next year to 18 months, and the insight, information and constructive comments we receive at these workshops will be valuable,” DOC Chief Deputy Director Jason Marshall stated in a press release.

The first public workshop was held on Feb. 19 in Los Angeles. Workshops will also be held in Sacramento, Bakersfield and the Santa Barbara area.

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