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AB-3146 Oil and gas: well records and testing requirements.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/26/2018 04:00 AM
AB3146:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3146


Introduced by Assembly Member Holden

February 16, 2018


An act to amend Section 3210 of, and to add and repeal Sections 3206.4 and 3255.5 to, of, the Public Resources Code, relating to oil and gas.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3146, as amended, Holden. Oil and gas: well records and testing requirements.
(1) Existing law requires the State Oil and Gas Supervisor to supervise the drilling, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of oil and gas wells. Existing law requires an owner or operator of a well to keep, or cause to be kept, and requires the operator to file with the district deputy at specified times, a careful and accurate log, core record, and history of the drilling of the well. Existing law provides that a person who fails to comply with specific laws relating to the regulation of oil or gas operations, including failing to furnish a report or record, or rendering a false report, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This bill would additionally require the owner or operator to keep, or cause to be kept, a history of the maintenance and repair of the well. Because a violation of this requirement would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law authorizes the State Oil and Gas Supervisor to order or undertake certain operations, as applicable, to be carried out on any property in the vicinity of which, or on which, is located any well or facility that the supervisor determines to be a hazardous well, an idle-deserted well, a hazardous facility, or a deserted facility, as defined.
This bill, for any action ordered to be carried out, or undertaken, by the supervisor pursuant to those provisions, for the purpose of abandonment or reabandonment of a well or for the purpose of remedying, mitigating, minimizing, or eliminating danger to life, health, and natural resources, until January 1, 2025, would require the supervisor to ensure perform specified testing is conducted, testing, including follow-up followup testing if specified conditions are met, of any well and associated equipment being plugged and abandoned to determine the presence of atmospheric emissions of hydrocarbon pollutants before the initiation of, and after the completion of, of physical work, and ensure that the results of any tests performed pursuant to these provisions are posted on the division’s Internet Web site and transmitted to the State Air Resources Board as soon as reasonably possible after testing is performed. The bill would require authorize the supervisor to consult supervisor, in consultation with the state board on the development of board, to develop alternative methodologies for testing undertaken pursuant to these provisions. The bill would require the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources and the state board to jointly assemble and perform an appropriate analysis of specified information for the purposes of determining the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing and planned measures to perform research on or control emissions from idle and abandoned oil and gas wells in the state, and would require the division and the state board, on or before December 31, 2025, to make the results of the analysis available on their respective Internet Web sites. The bill would repeal all of these provisions on January 1, 2026.
(3) Existing law requires the operator of any idle well to either file with the supervisor a certain annual fee or file a plan with the supervisor to provide for the management and elimination of all long-term idle wells, as specified. Under existing law, a person who fails to comply with an order issued under these provisions and other requirements relating to the regulation of oil or gas operations is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This bill, for any proximity well, as defined, to be plugged and abandoned, including wells to be plugged and abandoned pursuant to an idle well management plan that is on file with the supervisor or pursuant to specified provisions, until January 1, 2025, would require the operator of the well to (A) perform specified testing as determined by the supervisor, testing, including follow-up followup testing if specified conditions are met, of any well and associated equipment being plugged and abandoned to determine the presence of atmospheric emissions of hydrocarbon pollutants before the initiation of, and after the completion of, of physical work, and (B) report the results of any tests performed pursuant to these provisions to the supervisor. Because a violation of these requirements by an operator would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the supervisor to post the results received form the operator on the division’s Internet Web site and transmit the results to the State Air Resources Board as soon as reasonably possible after testing is performed, and to ensure that proximity wells emitting hydrocarbon pollutants are remediated to eliminate the source of emissions and are periodically rechecked, at an interval determined by the supervisor, to verify that the source of emissions has been eliminated. performed. The bill would require authorize the supervisor to consult supervisor, in consultation with the state board on the development of board, to develop alternative methodologies for testing undertaken pursuant to these provisions. The bill would require the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources and the state board to jointly assemble and perform an appropriate analysis of all information received by the supervisor pursuant to these provisions for the purposes of determining the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing and planned measures to perform research on or control emissions from idle and abandoned oil and gas wells in the state, and would require the division and the state board, on or before December 31, 2025, to make the results of the analysis available on their respective Internet Web sites. The bill would repeal all of these provisions on January 1, 2026.
(4) 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.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Legislature has established a directive for the Department of Conservation to reduce the number of idle wells in California while also providing additional resources for the department to engage in plugging and abandoning of hazardous or idle-deserted wells.
(b) A reduction in the number of idle, hazardous, and idle-deserted wells in California may reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, toxic air pollution, and smog-forming gases in the state.
(c) The availability of low-cost, highly accurate emissions detection and quantification equipment and practices can (1) yield transparent data that can inform the statewide and local pollution inventories, (2) better quantify the impact of efforts to reduce idle, hazardous, and idle-deserted wells, and (3) provide additional evidence of proper well remediation.
(d) Many Californians live in close proximity to idle, hazardous, and idle-deserted wells and may be exposed to toxic air pollution.
(e) Many wells are remediated without sufficient air monitoring to detect possible unsafe air pollution emanating from wells, which poses a risk to workers and nearby residents.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish air monitoring requirements to protect vulnerable communities and workers as well as to evaluate the greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits of efforts to reduce idle, hazardous, and idle-deserted wells.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3206.4 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

3206.4.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “proximity well” means any well within one-fourth mile of any building intended for human occupancy that is not necessary to the operation of the well.
(b) (1) For any proximity well to be plugged and abandoned, including wells to be plugged and abandoned pursuant to an idle well management plan that is on file with the supervisor pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 3206, or required to be plugged and abandoned pursuant to the requirements of Section 3206.1, until January 1, 2025, the operator of the well shall do all of the following:

(A)Perform appropriate testing, as determined by the supervisor, of any well and associated equipment being plugged and abandoned to determine the presence of atmospheric emissions of hydrocarbon pollutants before the initiation of, and after the completion of, physical work.

(A) Before the initiation of physical work to plug and abandon the well, have testing performed for leaks on any well and associated equipment, either (i) in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency Reference Method 21, as set forth in Appendix A-7 to Part 60 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, (ii) by using an optical gas imaging instrument that is approved for use by the Executive Officer of the State Air Resources Board and that is operated by a technician with a certification or training in infrared theory, infrared inspections, and heat transfer principals, or (iii) in accordance with an alternative methodology developed pursuant to paragraph (4).
(B) If the well or associated equipment is found to release hydrocarbons in observable quantities using an optical imaging device or in concentrations greater than 1 percent by volume tested before the initiation of physical work, perform additional testing, as determined by the supervisor, testing using a direct measurement method consisting of high-volume sampling, bagging, or a calibrated flow measuring instrument, to determine the flow rate and concentration of atmospheric emissions of total hydrocarbon pollutants before the initiation of, and after the completion of, of physical work.
(C) Report the results of any tests performed pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) or described in paragraph (2), if applicable, to the supervisor. supervisor, including a description of the source of any detected emission.
(2) Any operator who, pursuant to federal, state, or local regulations, has conducted testing on a proximity well that meets the criteria included in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) within the three months before the start of physical work to plug and abandon the well shall be exempt from the requirements included in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) for that well.

(2)

(3) The performance of testing of wells pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) shall not impact the safety of the public or workers. be waived for any well deemed hazardous by the supervisor.

(3)

(4) The supervisor shall consult may, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board on the development of Board, develop alternative methodologies for testing undertaken pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1).
(c) The supervisor shall ensure that the results received pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) are posted on the division’s Internet Web site and transmitted to the State Air Resources Board as soon as reasonably possible after testing is performed.

(d)The supervisor shall ensure that proximity wells emitting hydrocarbon pollutants are remediated to eliminate the source of emissions and are periodically rechecked, at an interval determined by the supervisor, to verify that the source of emissions has been eliminated.

(d) (1) The division and the State Air Resources Board shall jointly assemble and perform an appropriate analysis of all information received by the supervisor pursuant to this section for the purposes of determining the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing and planned measures to perform research on or control emissions from idle and abandoned oil and gas wells in the state.
(2) On or before December 31, 2025, the division and the State Air Resources Board shall make the results of the analysis performed pursuant to paragraph (1) available on their respective Internet Web sites.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 3210 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

3210.
 The owner or operator of any well shall keep, or cause to be kept, a careful and accurate log, core record, and history of the drilling, maintenance, and repair of the well.

SEC. 4.

 Section 3255.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

3255.5.
 (a) For any action ordered to be carried out, or undertaken, by the supervisor pursuant to Section 3255, for the purpose of abandonment or reabandonment of a well or for the purpose of remedying, mitigating, minimizing, or eliminating danger to life, health, and natural resources, until January 1, 2025, the supervisor shall do all of the following:

(1)Ensure appropriate testing is conducted, as determined by the supervisor, of any well and associated equipment being plugged and abandoned to determine the presence of atmospheric emissions of hydrocarbon pollutants before the initiation of, and after the completion of, physical work.

(1) Before the initiation of physical work to plug and abandon the well, perform testing of the well and associated equipment for leaks either (i) in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency Reference Method 21, as set forth in Appendix A-7 to Part 60 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, (ii) by using an optical gas imaging instrument that is approved for use by the Executive Officer of the State Air Resources Board and that is operated by a technician with a certification or training in infrared theory, infrared inspections, and heat transfer principals, or (iii) in accordance with an alternative methodology developed pursuant to subdivision (b).
(2) If the well or associated equipment is found to release hydrocarbons in observable quantities using an optical imaging device or in concentrations greater than 1 percent by volume tested before the initiation of physical work, ensure additional testing is performed, as determined by the supervisor, performed using a direct measurement method consisting of high volume sampling, bagging, or a calibrated flow measuring instrument, to determine the flow rate and concentration of atmospheric emissions of total hydrocarbon pollutants before the initiation of, and after the completion of, of physical work.
(3) Ensure the results of any tests performed pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) are posted on the division’s Internet Web site and transmitted to the State Air Resources Board as soon as reasonably possible after testing is performed.

(4)Consult

(b) The supervisor may, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board on the development of Board, develop alternative methodologies for testing undertaken pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2). (2) of subdivision (a).

(b)

(c) The testing of wells pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) shall not impact the safety of the public or workers. be waived for any well deemed hazardous by the supervisor.
(d) (1) The division and the State Air Resources Board shall jointly assemble and perform an appropriate analysis of all information described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) for the purposes of determining the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing and planned measures to perform research on or control emissions from idle and abandoned oil and gas wells in the state.
(2) On or before December 31, 2025, the division and the State Air Resources Board shall make the results of the analysis performed pursuant to paragraph (1) available on their respective Internet Web sites.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 5.

 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.