Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
P. 1
CBD Comments Titan With Appendices 8-9-12 (2)

CBD Comments Titan With Appendices 8-9-12 (2)

Ratings: (0)|Views: 14 |Likes:
Published by JohnHQuigley
August 9, 2012 Via Email and Federal Express Overnight Delivery Compact Disks of Attachments Provided with Hard Copy Nancy Dagle Staff Environmental Scientist Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources 801 K Street, MS18-05 Sacramento, CA 95814-3530 Email: nancy.dagle@conservation.ca.gov Re: Initial Study/Negative Declaration Titan (851D-4) Exploratory Oil and Gas Well. Aera Energy LLC, Section 4, T29S, R21E MD & B&M, Kern County Dear Ms. Dagle, Thank you for the opportunity to provide comme
August 9, 2012 Via Email and Federal Express Overnight Delivery Compact Disks of Attachments Provided with Hard Copy Nancy Dagle Staff Environmental Scientist Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources 801 K Street, MS18-05 Sacramento, CA 95814-3530 Email: nancy.dagle@conservation.ca.gov Re: Initial Study/Negative Declaration Titan (851D-4) Exploratory Oil and Gas Well. Aera Energy LLC, Section 4, T29S, R21E MD & B&M, Kern County Dear Ms. Dagle, Thank you for the opportunity to provide comme

More info:

Published by: JohnHQuigley on Sep 26, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/13/2014

pdf

text

original

 
 August 9, 2012
Via Email and Federal Express Overnight DeliveryCompact Disks of Attachments Provided with Hard Copy
  Nancy DagleStaff Environmental ScientistDivision of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources801 K Street, MS18-05Sacramento, CA 95814-3530Email: nancy.dagle@conservation.ca.govRe: Initial Study/Negative Declaration Titan (851D-4) Exploratory Oil and Gas Well. Aera EnergyLLC, Section 4, T29S, R21E MD & B&M, Kern CountyDear Ms. Dagle,Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment on the Initial Study and NegativeDeclaration (ISND) for the above referenced project. These comments are submitted on behalf of theCenter for Biological Diversity and our tens of thousands of California members and supporters. TheCenter is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of imperiled species, their habitats, and the environment through science, policy, and environmental law. The goal of theCenter’s Climate Law Institute is to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution to protect biological diversity, the environment, and public health. Specific objectives include securing protections for species threatened by the impacts of global warming, ensuring compliance withapplicable law in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, and educating andmobilizing the public on global warming and air quality issues.As explained in detail below, the Negative Declaration fails to meet the minimum standards of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), Public Resources Code § 21000
et seq.
, and theCEQA Guidelines, title 14, California Code of Regulations, § 15000 et seq. The ISND fails to providean adequate project description, including specifying whether hydraulic fracturing (fracking) will beused. It also fails to disclose, analyze, and propose measures to avoid or mitigate the Project’ssignificant environmental effects. Substantial evidence—including the peer-reviewed scientificarticles and other studies submitted as appendices to this letter—demonstrates that greenhouse gasemissions from the Project are significant. Accordingly, the California Department of Conservation’sDivision of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR,” or the “Division”) must address these
 
Center for Biological Diversity CommentsAugust 9, 2012Page 2 of 23
shortcomings and prepare an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) addressing the project’s fullimpacts, in full compliance with CEQA, before it can approve the Project.
I. Legal Background
A.
 
CEQAThe Legislature enacted CEQA to “[e]nsure that the long-term protection of the environmentshall be the guiding criterion in public decisions.”
 No Oil, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles
, 13 Cal. 3d 68,74 (1974). The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that CEQA must be interpreted to “afford thefullest possible protection to the environment.”
Wildlife Alive v. Chickering 
, 18 Cal. 3d 190, 206(1976) (quotation omitted). CEQA also serves “to demonstrate to an apprehensive citizenry that theagency has, in fact, analyzed and considered the ecological implications of its action.”
 Laurel Heights Improvement Ass’n v. Regents of Univ. of Cal 
., 47 Cal. 3d 376, 392 (1988) (“
 Laurel Heights I 
”). If CEQA is “scrupulously followed,” the public will know the basis for the agency’s action and “beingduly informed, can respond accordingly to action with which it disagrees.”
 Id.
Accordingly, CEQA“protects not only the environment but also informed self-government.”
 Id.
 CEQA applies to all “discretionary projects proposed to be carried out or approved by publicagencies.” Pub. Res. Code § 21080(a). Before taking any action, a public agency must conduct a“preliminary review” to determine whether the action is a “project” subject to CEQA.
See
 
 Muzzy Ranch Co. v. Solano County Airport Land Use Comm’n
, 41 Cal. 4th 372, 380 (2007). A “project” is“the whole of an action” directly undertaken, supported, or authorized by a public agency “which maycause either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physicalchange in the environment.” Pub. Res. Code § 21065; CEQA Guidelines § 15378(a). Under CEQA,“the term ‘project’ refers to the underlying activity and not the governmental approval process.”
California Unions for Reliable Energy v. Mojave Desert Air Quality Mgmt. Dist.,
178 Cal. App. 4th1225, 1241 (2009) (quoting
Orinda Ass’n v. Bd. of Supervisors
, 182 Cal. App. 3d 1145, 1171-72(1986)). The definition of “project” is “given a broad interpretation in order to maximize protection of the environment.”
 Lighthouse Field Beach Rescue v. City of Santa Cruz 
, 131 Cal. App. 4th 1170, 1180(2005) (internal quotation omitted).Where, as here, there is substantial evidence in the record to support a fair argument that the proposed project may have a significant effect on the environment, preparation of an EIR is required.Public Resources Code §§ 21100, 21151; CEQA Guidelines § 15064(a)(1), (f)(1);
Communities for a Better Env’t v. South Coast Air Quality Mgmt. Dist.
, 48 Cal. 4th 310, 319 (2010);
 No Oil, Inc.
, 13 Cal.3d at 82. This “fair argument” test “establishes a low threshold for initial preparation of an EIR, whichreflects a preference for resolving doubts in favor of environmental review.”
 Architectural Heritage Assn. v. County of Monterey
, 122 Cal. App. 4th 1095 (2004).By contrast, a negative declaration is appropriate
only
when there is
no
substantial evidence inlight of the whole record before the public agency that the project, as revised, may have a significanteffect on the environment. Pub. Res. Code §§ 21064.5, 21080(c); CEQA Guidelines §§ 15006(h),15064(f)(2), 15070(b), 15369.5. If evidence demonstrating a significant impact exists, an EIR must be prepared, even if the lead agency also can point to substantial evidence in the record supporting itsdetermination that no significant effect will occur.
 Architectural Heritage
, 122 Cal. App. 4th
 
at 1109-
 
Center for Biological Diversity CommentsAugust 9, 2012Page 3 of 23
10. The lead agency may not dismiss evidence because it believes that there is contrary evidence thatis more credible.
 Pocket Protectors v. City of Sacramento
, 124 Cal. App. 4th 903, 935 (2005).B. Other Applicable LawState law provides that the State Oil and Gas Supervisor:shallso supervise the drilling, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of wells andthe operation, maintenance, and removal or abandonment of tanks and facilitiesattendant to oil and gas production, including pipelines….so as to prevent, as far as possible, damage to life, health, property, and natural resources; damage to undergroundoil and gas deposits from infiltrating water and other causes; loss of oil, gas, or reservoir energy, and damage to underground and surface waters suitable for irrigation or domestic purposes by the infiltration of, or the addition of, detrimental substances.PRC § 3106(a) (emphasis added).As discussed in detail in Appendix A, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has proliferated inCalifornia without adequate state or federal oversight, and poses severe risks to California’s air, water, public health, communities and wildlife. DOGGR has clear existing authority with regard to fracking,including the authority to deny approval of fracking activities on a well by well basis, and the authorityto prohibit it all together.
See
PRC 3106(a);
Young v. Department of Fish & Game
, 124 Cal. App. 3d257, 279- 280 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 1981).DOGGR and the Project Applicant must also comply with all existing laws regulating fracking,including the state’s underground injection control program. PRC § 3106(a);14 CCR 1724.6-10. There can be no question that California’s longstanding regulations for underground injection apply tofracking.
See, e.g 
., 14 CCR 1724.6 (“Approval must be obtained from this Division before anysubsurface injection or disposal project can begin.”) (emphasis added.) Pre-permitting datarequirements include, but are not limited to, an “injection plan,” which must include the “method of injection,” “source and analysis of the injection liquid,” “treatment of the water to be injected,”“location and depth of each water-source well that will be used in conjunction with the project,” amonitoring system or method to be utilized to ensure that no damage is occurring and that the injectionfluid is confined to the intended zone or zones of injection,” and “other data as required for large,unusual, or hazardous projects….” 14 CCR 1724.7. Filing, notification, operating, and testingrequirements include but are not limited to, “an injection report…shall be filed with the Division on or  before the 30
th
day of each month, for the preceding month,” a “chemical analysis of the liquid beinginjected shall be made and filed with the Division whenever the source of injection liquid is changed,or as requested by the Supervisor,” “data shall be maintained to show performance of the project and toestablish that no damage to life, health, property, or natural resources is occurring by reason of the project,” and to “determine the maximum allowable surface injection pressure, a step-rate test shall beconducted prior to sustained liquid injection…” 14 CCR 1724.10.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->