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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.

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 website.

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 here.

State Seeks Senior Oil & Gas Official

The State of California seeks an industry leader to direct oil and gas regulatory operations in the Bakersfield region. This is a Governor-appointed, senior-level position with the authority to design, execute and manage on-the-ground operations, including the implementation of well stimulation, underground injection and other regulations in a new era of public and environmental health and safety. Negotiable salary, competitive with industry. See this web site for the position of Area District Deputy, Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources.

Underground Injection Control (UIC) News and Information


DOC Sends Out Public Notice of Proposed Regulations for Aquifer Exemption Compliance Schedule

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) has sent out public notice of proposed regulations for the aquifer exemption compliance schedule related to the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program managed by the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources. The public notice begins the formal rulemaking process and marks the beginning of a 45-day public comment period. The proposed regulations are necessary to ensure that the State’s federally-approved UIC program for Class II injection wells meets the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and protects public health, safety and the environment in an efficient manner.

These regulations were adopted on a temporary basis by emergency rulemaking on April 20. This rulemaking action is to complete the formal rulemaking process in order to keep these regulations in place.

Comments regarding the proposed regulations can be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on July 13, 2015 via email to; via FAX to (916) 324-0948; or via regular mail to the Department of Conservation, 801 K Street, 24-02, Sacramento, CA 95814, ATTN: Aquifer Exemption Compliance Schedule Regulations.

Comments will also be taken at two public hearings around the state:

Bakersfield – July 15, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, 801 Truxtun Avenue.

Santa Maria – July 16, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Santa Barbara County Supervisors Hearing Room, 511 East Lakeside Pkwy.

Documents related to the Department of Conservation’s rulemaking efforts can be found here.


On April 2, 2015, the Department of Conservation noticed its intent to propose the adoption 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. This action was taken in accordance with Government Code sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the California Administrative Procedures Act. These regulations have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and are now in effect.

To access documents associated with the emergency rulemaking action and the text of the emergency regulations, please click here .

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 here.

CGS Scientist Offers Reality Check on "San Andreas"

California Geological Survey scientist Rick Wilson praises the action and special effects in the just-released movie "San Andreas." But he advises that the movie's "geologic villains" -- tsunamis and earthquakes -- are a bit exaggerated by Hollywood. A 300-foot tsunami washing over the Golden Gate Bridge? Failing an asteroid strike, it's not going to happen. A giant chasm opening in the Earth? Not so much. Watch Wilson discuss the reality of California's geologic threats here or read his "Geo-logical" movie review (based on the trailers) here.


  • 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. The report includes data from about 60 percent of California oil and gas operators, and accounts for approximately half of the overall expected reported water volumes for the first quarter of 2015. The report distinguishes between water brought to the surface during oil or gas exploration and production that might be used for agriculture or other beneficial uses and that which has no potential beneficial use because of its naturally-occurring salt or mineral content. 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 here.
  • 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 here.
  • 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 news release.
  • 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 here.
  • 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 here.
  • 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 news release.
  • 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 here.
  • 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 here.
  • 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 here.
  • 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 here.