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Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production - Announcements

Oil, Gas, and Groundwater Monitoring Update December 11, 2023

To observe the meeting, access the live webcast here. The US Geological Survey (USGS) will be presenting brief summaries of recently published interpretive manuscripts for studies conducted as part of the State Water Board Oil and Gas Regional Monitoring Program (RMP). Please see the meeting agenda for links to the manuscripts.

Live Webcast: https://video.calepa.ca.gov/

Oxnard Oil Field Regional Monitoring Program study publication now available

The US Geological Survey (USGS) Regional Monitoring Program study results “Groundwater Quality of Aquifers Overlying the Oxnard Oil Field, Ventura County, California” are now available. Please see the article summary for key findings from the study.

Staff Workshop – Definition of “Protected Water”

State Water Board staff held a workshop on Friday, May 10, 2019 to fulfil the Senate Bill 4 (Pavley, 2013) requirement to review the definition of “Protected Water” (see Water Code§ 10783(k)(2)). This was an informational workshop only, and as such, the State Water Board did not take any formal action (staff collected input only). The May 10, 2019 Staff Workshop webcast was recorded and can accessed below.

Final 2018 Memorandum of Agreement Between the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) have signed the Revised Memorandum of Agreement between the State Water Board and CalGEM regarding underground injection control, discharges to land and other program issues (2018 Revised MOA).

Aquifer Exemption Proposals

The California Geologic Energy Management Division ("CalGEM"), with concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board ("State Water Board"), is considering proposals to expand current aquifer exemption designations statewide. Subject to approval by the US Environmental Protection Agency ("US EPA"), the proposed aquifer exemptions would allow the State, in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, to approve Class II injection into the identified area, either for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

Public hearings for each proposal will be held in communities near the aquifer exemption proposals. For updated information on upcoming public hearings and aquifer exemption proposals, please visit https://www.conservation.ca.gov/calgem/Pages/Aquifer_Exemptions.aspx

Performance Measures for Model Criteria: New information is now available

Information on performance measures for the evaluation of the Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring in Areas of Oil and Gas Well Stimulation is available here.

Senate Bill 83 - Underground Injection Control and Produced Water Pond Report

Senate Bill (SB) 83 Section 45 (statutes of 2015) requires that the State Water Board submit a status report on the regulation of oil field produced water ponds by January 30, 2016, and every six months thereafter. These reports include the total number of ponds in each region, the number of permitted and unpermitted ponds, enforcement actions, and the status of permitting the unpermitted ponds.

SB 83 also requires CalGEM and the State Water Board to semi-annually report to the relevant committees of the Legislature on the status of the Department of Conservation’s underground injection control (UIC) program. The most recent UIC report can be found in the “Legislative Reports " section under the Reports, Publications tab on the CalGEM website titled "Underground Injection Control Report" https://www.conservation.ca.gov/calgem/pubs_stats/Pages/legislative_reports.aspx

Details on the Water Boards status on regulating activities for Produced Water Ponds are available here.

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