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.
DOC Issues Oil & Gas Renewal Plan, Report to Legislature
Building on the ongoing effort to strengthen and improve the state's oversight of oil and gas production, the California Department of Conservation on October 8 released a Renewal Plan to overhaul its regulatory program and continue refocusing on the guiding principles of environmental protection and public health. The Renewal Plan, along with the ongoing reform efforts, also will help fix various regulatory problems identified in a report submitted to the Legislature today under Senate Bill 855 (2010) that directed the Department to report on the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources' enforcement and permitting of underground injection control (UIC). Please see the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources' home page here for the relevant documents.
CGS Helps Assess Fire-Stricken Areas for Landslide Potential
Most people think "earthquakes" when they think about the California Geological Survey, and rightfully so. But CGS also plays a role in helping Californians prepare for the potential of landslides or debris flows. Those can be as devastating as earthquakes in a more localized area, and areas on slopes stripped of vegetation by wildfires are
Volumes II and III of Independent Science Study on Well Stimulation Released
Pursuant to 2013 legislation by Senator Fran Pavley (Senate Bill 4), the California Natural Resources Agency commissioned the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to conduct an independent scientific assessment of well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, in California. On July 9, 2015, CCST publicly released Volumes II and III of the assessment.
Volume II assesses the potential impacts of well-stimulation technology with respect to water, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as induced seismicity, ecology, traffic and noise. Volume III presents case studies to assess environmental issues and qualitative hazards for specific geographic regions, based on findings in Volume I and Volume II.
To view or download the report, please visit the CCST
Permanent Well Stimulation Regulations in Effect, EIR Certified
Permanent regulations for the use of oil and gas well stimulation in California became effective July 1. The regulations bolster transparency, reporting requirements, and groundwater protection, and require operators to obtain a permit to conduct stimulation activities. The
permanent regulations replace interim regulations developed by the Department of Conservation that since January 1, 2014 had guided production methods such as hydraulic fracturing and acid matrix stimulation.
DOC's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources on July 1 also certified an accompanying statewide
Environmental Impact Report about the practice of well stimulation. The EIR was mandated by Senate Bill 4.
Additionally, it was announced that the California Council on Science & Technology will publish volumes II-IV of an independent scientific assessment of well stimulation in California on July 9. More information about that report can be found
Underground Injection Control (UIC) News and Information
OAL APPROVES DOC'S READOPTION OF EMERGENCY REGULATIONS
On October 19, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Department of Conservation's readoption of emergency regulations necessary to protect public health, safety and the environment, and to bring California’s Class II Underground Injection Control program into compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The emergency regulations were established under an emergency rulemaking process to ensure that regulations are in place while the permanent regulations are being finalized. The emergency regulations were initially approved by the OAL on April 20, 2015, and this action extends the emergency regulations for another 180 days, until January 20, 2016. By law, emergency regulations last for only six months unless extended.
To view the rulemaking documents related to either the emergency or permanent aquifer exemption compliance schedule regulations, click
DOGGR's Action Plan Receives U.S. EPA Approval
California regulatory authorities on Friday, February 6, submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a plan to correct deficiencies in the regulation of underground injection. The response included a 12-page letter, prepared by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the State Water Resources Control Board, and four supporting documents, all of which are linked below. The plan focuses on the enhanced protection of California aquifers from contamination due to oil and gas production.
More information about the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources UIC program, as well as issues related to SB 4 and well stimulation, can be found
- If predictions of heavy rains throughout California this winter thanks to El Nino come true, its likely that landslides will follow. Those who live on slopes should be aware of the warning signs of impending debris flows.
- Thirty-three underground injection wells were required to permanent cease operations as the Department of Conservation continued the effort to improve its regulation of the oil industry and protect California's groundwater resources.
- The Department of Conservation issued a
Renewal Plan for oil and gas regulation and a report to the Legislature about its oversight efforts.
- The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has
fined a Bakersfield-based oil and gas operator for hundred of reporting and other violations.
- The Department of Conservation has scheduled workshops in three communities -- Los Angeles, Ventura, and Bakersfield -- to receive public input on plans to update regulations related to the Underground Injection Control Program. Want to know
- The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources issued civil penalties to 30 oil and gas producers that failed to provide SB 1281-required water data. News release
- The Department of Conservation (DOC) is making available comprehensive data on water use related to oil and gas production This is the first report to be posted as a result of recent legislation (Senate Bill 1281; Pavley, 2014), which requires self-reported data from industry. Read the
report | read news release
- A new state program that invests in agricultural land protection for the sake of climate benefits will help ensure that seven California farms and ranches are never developed. Read more
- Parts II and III of an independent study about the use of well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, have been
released by the California Council on Science & Technology.
- Permanent regulations for the use of oil and gas well stimulation are now in place. Also, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources certified an Environmental Impact Report for well stimulation in California. Read the news release
- The Division of Land Resource Protection
reports that the California Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act) continues to ensure that agricultural land isn't prematurely developed, despite some challenges.
- Five preliminary Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone maps for Southern California have been released for public review (see the news
release). The maps are designed to protect public safety and property.
- According to the latest non-fuel minerals report from the California Geological Survey, covering 2013, California ranks eighth in the nation despite less gold production. Click this
link for more information.
- The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources and State Water Resources Control Board have provided the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a progress report on State oversight of underground injection well. See the
- The Office of Administrative Law has approved the Department of Conservation's emergency rulemaking for the use of underground injection for oil and gas production in California. Read all about it
- March 22-28 is Tsunami Preparedness Week.
Read about how the California Geological Survey is working with other state, federal and local entities to ensure that California coastal communities are prepared for these dangerous geologic phenomena.
- DOC's Division of Land Resource Protection, the federal government and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. permanently set aside the Castro Ranch in Sutter County for agriculture and habitat. Learn more
- The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has directed that 12 underground injection wells be shut-in to protect groundwater and public health. See the
- The Department of Conservation, in cooperation with the State Water Resources Control Board, on February 6 provided the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a plan to correct deficiencies in its regulatory program of underground injection for oil and natural gas production in California. Read more
- The Department of Conservation's California Farmland Conservancy Program (CFCP) is accepting proposals to offset farmland loss associated with the California high-speed rail alignment through the Central Valley. The High-Speed Rail Authority has $20 million budgeted for farmland mitigation in the first stage of development. Properties in Fresno and Madera counties are the focus of current efforts. More information can be found
- Landowner Sibley Fedora's family migrated to the United States on the Mayflower and acquired the Sutter County property he still lives and ranches on in the late 1800s. Thanks to an agricultural conservation easement, the Dept. of Conservation, the USDA and the Sutter Butte Regional Land Trust, 376-acres of the Fedora Farm will permanently be preserved for agriculture. Read all about it
- The California Geological Survey issued final versions of two regulatory maps to aid in land-use planning in the greater Los Angeles area. These Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone Maps outline zones of required site investigations along the Hollywood Fault as well as additional active faults in the Monrovia-Duarte-Azusa areas. View the
maps here. Read the
news release here.
- The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) announced steps to review the state's Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program in order to ensure that the program fully complies with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, designed to prevent waste water associated with oil production from being injected into aquifers containing water suitable for human or agricultural use. Read more