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AB-345 Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/30/2019 08:55 AM
AB345:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
This bill would require, commencing January 1, 2020, all new oil and gas development, development or enhancement operation, as defined, that is not on federal land, to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic. For these purposes, the bill would require the redrilling of a previously plugged and abandoned oil or gas well or other rework operations, as defined, to be considered new oil and gas development. The bill would authorize a city or county to require by ordinance that new oil and gas development or enhancement operation be located a larger distance away from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic than 2,500 feet. In the event that 2 or more cities and counties with jurisdiction over the same geographic area establish different health protection zone distances, the bill would require the larger health protection zone distance to apply. Because a violation of these provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would authorize an operator of an oil or gas well or a production facility subject to these provisions to file a written request, containing specified information, with the division for a variance to reduce the health protection zone to the maximum achievable distance, and would authorize the supervisor to grant a variance upon making a written finding that the operator has no other feasible means of accessing a legal subsurface right, that the variance provides as much distance between sensitive receptors and those oil and gas operations as achievable, and that the variance would not endanger public health and safety.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3203.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

3203.5.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) Proximity to oil and gas extraction, including the use of hydraulic fracturing, well acidization, and other nonconventional oil and gas extraction techniques, adversely impacts public health and safety.
(2) These adverse impacts are reduced by locating oil and gas operations away from sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics.
(b) For purposes of this section, both of the following definitions apply:
(1) “Enhancement operations” means operations intended to increase the hydrocarbon production of an oil and gas well. Those enhancement operations shall include well stimulation treatments, acid well stimulation treatments, and restoring a plugged and abandoned well or an idle well into production, and shall not include repairs or well maintenance work.

(1)

(2) “Oil and gas development” means exploration for, and drilling, production, and processing of, oil, gas, or other gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons, and the flowlines and the treatment of waste associated with that exploration, drilling, production, and processing. “Oil and gas development” also includes hydraulic fracturing. hydrocarbons.

(2)“Rework operations” means operations performed in the well bore of an oil or gas well after the well is completed and equipped for production for the purpose of securing, restoring, or improving hydrocarbon production in a subsurface interval that is then open to production in the well bore. Those operations shall include, but are not limited to, fracturing, refracturing, and other formation stimulation operations and recompletion operations conducted in the subsurface interval, and shall not include routine repairs or well maintenance work.

(c) Except as provided in subdivisions (d) and (e), and notwithstanding any other law, commencing January 1, 2020, all new oil and gas development or enhancement operation permitted under this division, that is not on federal land, shall be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic. For purposes of this section, the redrilling of a previously plugged and abandoned oil or gas well or other rework operations shall be considered new oil and gas development.
(d) Except as provided in subdivision (e), a city or county may require by ordinance that new oil and gas development or enhancement operation be located a larger distance away from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic than required by subdivision (c). In the event that two or more cities and counties with jurisdiction over the same geographic area establish different health protection zone distances, the larger health protection zone distance shall apply.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (c) and (d), an operator of an oil or gas well or a production facility subject to this section may file a written request with the division for a variance to reduce the health protection zone to the maximum achievable distance. The request shall include competent, substantial, and relevant evidence demonstrating that the applicable health protection zone would extend beyond the area on which the operator has a legal right to locate the oil or gas well or production facility and that the variance would be consistent with the intent of this section and protect public health and safety. The supervisor may grant a variance upon making a written finding that the operator has no other feasible means of accessing a legal subsurface right, that the variance provides as much distance between sensitive receptors and those oil and gas operations as achievable, and that the variance would not endanger public health and safety.
(f) For the duration of a permit lawfully issued pursuant to this division before January 1, 2020, this section shall not apply to oil and gas development and rework or enhancement operations conducted pursuant to the permit and that are in compliance with all applicable requirements for the duration of the permit.

SEC. 2.

  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.