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South Coast Air Quality Management District to Release Draft Oil and Gas Regulations

January 4, 2013 by Eric Adair in News with 0 Comments

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) announced yesterday that it expects to release a draft of Rule 1148.2 during the week of January 7, 2013. Rule 1148.2 — “Notification and Reporting of Pre-Production Operations and Reworks of Oil and Gas Wells” — will address various aspects of oil and gas well operations, including the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

As we have reported previously (here, here, here, and here), the AQMD has been considering the adoption of air quality regulations governing fracking for several months. In a December 12, 2012, workshop conducted by the AQMD, the parameters of the proposed regulations were outlined in a presentation by AQMD staff. The presentation materials from the workshop may be found here (pdf). As outlined at the workshop, the objectives of Rule 1148.2 will be (1) to collect data and information on emission sources related to drilling and well completion and well stimulation activities, and (2) to notify the AQMD prior to well drilling and completion activities or well stimulation activities, and to identify if residential and sensitive receptors are within 1,500 feet from a drilling site. To implement the rule, the AQMD will develop a web-based survey or other tool to simplify reporting and sharing of data.

Proposed Rule 1148.2 is expected to require notification to AQMD prior to the start of oil or gas drilling, including information about the drilling operator, the anticipated start date of drilling, well workover, and well completion activities, the activities to be conducted (drilling, well completion, well workover), and the type of well completion activity. The specific details of the rule will be revealed next week when the proposed language is released. Based on our understanding of AQMD staff comments at the December 12 workshop, Rule 1148.2 will likely extend beyond the practice of fracking and will address all aspects of oil and gas well drilling, well completion and production stimulation. We will review the language of the proposed rule and provide a further update as warranted.

A public workshop to discuss the language of the proposed rule has been scheduled for January 15, 2013, at 10:00am PST, at the AQMD Headquarters, Conference Room GB, 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, California 91765 (map).

For more information regarding California fracking issues, please contact Eric Adair. Follow Eric on Twitter:

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