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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.

​​​​SALC Program Permanently Shields 20 Properties from Development

The Department of Conservation and state government partners have permanently preserved 20 California farms and ranches for agriculture with more than $37 million in cap-and-trade funds as part of a new initiative (the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, or SALC) to reduce greenhouse gases. The SALC Program is part of the California Climate Investments initiative. State agencies are investing cap-and-trade auction proceeds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities.

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

The California Department of Conservation and State Water Resources Control Board are considering proposals to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for two Kern County oil fields: 1) the Santa Margarita formation in the Fruitvale Oil Field and 2) the Transition Zone in the Tejon Oil Field. Subject to approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the proposed aquifer exemptions would allow the State, in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, to approve Class II injection into the identified areas, either for enhanced oil recovery or for disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing about the Fruitval proposal was held August 15. Written comments will be accepted until Monday, August 29, 2016.

A public hearing about the Tejon proposal will be held at the Four Points Sheraton, 5101 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93309 at 4 p.m. Monday, September 12, 2016. Public comments are due by Monday, September 26, 2016 at 5 p.m.

The Division and State Water Board have provided additional information and amended the proposed exemption for the Round Mountain field. Therefore, a 15-day supplemental comment period to receive comments on the additional information is now underway.

Public comments for the additional information must be received by the Division by 5 p.m.  September 6, 2016.

Visit this page to learn more about each of the aquifer exemption proposals.

​​​​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 22, 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 conducted two public comment hearings to receive input from interested parties, in Sacramento and Woodland Hills.

​​​​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.

​​​​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.

News

  • On August 9, state oil and gas regulators issued an emergency order to the operators of the Rincon Island oil production facility offshore of Ventura County to ensure environmental and public safety protection.  
  • 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.