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
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).
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
Governor Brown Signs Major Reforms to Mining Law
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.
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
originally proposed text of the emergency regulations.
- 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.