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​​​Welcome to the California Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation provides services and information that promote environmental health, economic vitality, informed land-use decisions and sound management of our state's natural resources.

The Department of Conservation is underway in its Renewal Plan to strengthen and improve the state’s oversight of oil and gas production in California.

​​​​State Considering Aquifer Exemption Expansion in Kern County

The California Department of Conservation and State Water Resources Control Board are considering a proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Santa Margarita formation in the Fruitvale Oil Field in Kern County. Subject to approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the proposed aquifer exemption 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 disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing about the proposal will be held 4 p.m. Monday, August 15, 2016 at the Four Points Sheraton, 5101 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93309. Public comments will be accepted until Monday, August 29, 2016. Visit this page to learn more.

​​​​DOC Releases Discussion Draft Gas Storage Regulations

On July 8, the California Department of Conservation (DOC), Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (Division) publicly released pre-rulemaking draft regulations (a discussion draft) for the purpose of receiving public input on the development of updates to the regulations governing the Division’s natural gas storage program. The release of this discussion draft initiates a public comment period that ends on August 11, 2016 at 5 p.m. The comments received throughout this period will be reviewed and considered as the Division updates the draft regulations. Information about the process for submitting comments is included in the notice below. The Division will conduct two public comment hearings to receive input from interested parties. Any interested person, or their authorized representative, may present, either orally or in writing, comments regarding the proposed action at one of the public hearings, to be held at the following times and places:

August 9, 2016, 1 – 5 p.m. Natural Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St.,  Sacramento CA

August 11, 2016, 1 – 5 p.m. Hilton Woodland Hills, 6360 Canoga Ave., Woodland Hills CA 

​​​​State to Permanently Seal Two Deserted L.A. Oil Wells

The Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, in cooperation with the City of Los Angeles, will permanently seal two oil wells that were deserted by irresponsible operators and have seeped small amounts of gas in a residential neighborhood on Firmin Street. The wells pose no imminent danger but are a nuisance and will continue to deteriorate without intervention. For more information about the project, visit this page.

​​​​Testing Results of Aliso Canyon Wells Available

The Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has ordered that all 114 injection wells be thoroughly tested for safety and competence before injection resumes into the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field. The Division developed a protocol of six tests in consultation with the Lawrence Livermore and Berkeley National Laboratories. Test results are submitted by Southern California Gas, reviewed by Division staff, and then posted on this page, which will be updated frequently. Wells must pass all tests within one year or be permanently sealed (plugged and abandoned).

View additional Aliso Canyon information – including biweekly reports Southern California Gas must file on its progress toward completing the safety review.

​​​​New Program Keeps Land in Agricultural Use Forever

Two ranches in Napa County are the first properties permanently shielded from development by the new Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, administered by the Division of Land Resource Protection.

​​​​Governor Brown Signs Major Reforms to Mining Law

With the enactment of two bills on April 18, California strengthened the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act to better ensure that mine operators restore lands to a natural or usable condition after mining production ends. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2014 directed the department to work with stakeholders to develop substantive and procedural changes to the state’s mining law. The newly-signed bills – SB 209 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and AB 1142 by Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) – are the result of that stakeholder process.

​​Natural Gas Storage Rulemaking

DOC’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources is preparing to undertake rulemaking to make significant revisions to the regulations governing the Division’s Gas Storage Program.  This rulemaking effort will build upon the requirements adopted by emergency rulemaking to update regulations and address concerns identified by the Division and other key stakeholders.  The document outlines the Division’s immediate regulatory goals. Public input was accepted until March 18.

NEW: On July 14, 2016, the Department provided notice to the public that a request to readopt emergency regulations will be filed with the Office of Administrative Law.

View the final text of the emergency regulations, effective 2-5-16.

View finding of emergency and notice of proposed emergency rulemaking.

Department of Conservation responds to public comments

View the Office of Administrative Law approval.

View the originally proposed text of the emergency regulations.

View news release.

News

  • The Department of Conservation on April 27 announced announced the hiring of geothermal industry veteran Charlene Wardlow as its new Geothermal Program Manager and head of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources' Sacramento-based Northern District office.
  • Governor Brown on April 18 signed two bills to improve the state's mining law, the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, administered by the Department of Conservation.
  • The State Oil & Gas Supervisor on April 11, 2016 issued two orders to the Rincon Island Limited Partnership related to facilities on man-made Rincon Island and an underwater well.
  • State officials, including the Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, on February 18, 2016 confirmed that a leaking natural gas storage well in the Aliso Canyon facility has been permanently sealed.

  • The Department of Conservation on January 15, 2106 provided public notice of an interim regulatory package for oversight of natural gas storage facilities.

  • The California Geological Survey has issued the first-ever earthquake fault zone maps to guide development in the Lake Tahoe area.