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Aquifer Exemption Information

Status of the Division’s joint plan with the State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that fluids injected in connection with oil and gas production are not impacting water with current or potential future beneficial uses in California.

Interested Parties List

To receive emailed notices about future aquifer exemption activities, please send an email to comments@conservation.ca.gov. Please specify whether you are interested in these activties in a specific oil field, in a county or community, or on a statewide basis.

Page Contents:

 

Aquifers Historically Treated as Exempt (HTAE)

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, and the State Water Resources Control Board sent intent to advise the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“US EPA”) on November 15, 2016 that ten of the eleven aquifers historically treated as exempt do not meet the federal regulatory criteria for exemption from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Accordingly, the State Agencies intend to request an amendment to the Memoranda of Agreement between the Division and US EPA for the purpose of clarifying that these aquifers are not exempt aquifers.

In addition, the State Agencies intend to advise US EPA that the one other aquifer historically treated as exempt – the Walker Formation underlying the Round Mountain Field – is currently the subject of aquifer exemption proposals. The proposal for the Walker Formation has been finalized and published for public comment (but not yet submitted to US EPA). Portions of this aquifer are included in the exemption proposal, while other portions are not included. The State Agencies therefore intend to also request that the amendment to the Memoranda of Agreement between the Division and US EPA clarify that this aquifer is not exempt, except with respect to any portion(s) that US EPA approves for exemption as a result of a future exemption proposal.


 

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Arroyo Grande

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) and State Water Resources Control Board on February 8, 2016 submitted a proposal to  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand an aquifer exemption designation for the Dollie sands of the Pismo formation in the Arroyo Grande oil field. The field is in unincorporated San Luis Obispo County near the intersection of Ormonde Road and Price Canyon Road. 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

In August 2015, state and regional officials sent the initial public notice regarding the expansion proposal. The initial public comment period was held from August 20 – September 21, with a public comment hearing on September 21st in San Luis Obispo. On December 2, 2015 officials provided additional information to the proposed exemption and reopened a 15-day supplemental comment period to receive comment on the additional information.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

More Information about this Oil Zone and the Aquifer Exemption Recommendation:


 

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Elk Hills Oil Field Phase 1

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, with the concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board, is considering a Phase 1 proposal to exempt the Lower Tulare Formation in the Elk Hills Oil Field, located in Kern County about 27 miles southwest of the city of Bakersfield, CA. Subject to approval by the United States 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal is scheduled to be held on October 24, 2017. The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. on October 24, 2017. For additional information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.  

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Aquifer Exemption Application:


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Elks Hills Oil Field Phase 2

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, with the concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board, is considering a Phase 2 proposal to exempt the Lower Tulare Formation in the Elk Hills Oil Field, located in Kern County about 27 miles southwest of the city of Bakersfield, CA. Subject to approval by the United States 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal is scheduled to be held on October 24, 2017. The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. on October 24, 2017. For additional information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.  

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Aquifer Exemption Application:

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Fruitvale

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) and State Water Resources Control Board on November 9, 2016 submitted a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand an aquifer exemption designation for the Santa Margarita Formation in the Fruitvale Oil Field. 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on August 15, 2016, and the public comment period ended August 29. For more information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Fruitvale Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

More Information about this Oil Zone and the Aquifer Exemption Recommendation:

   
  

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Jasmin

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) and State Water Resources Control Board on July 21, 2017 submitted a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand the aquifer exemption designation for the Cantleberry Sands of the Vedder Formation in the Jasmin Oil Field. 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on April 19th, 2017, and the initial public comment period ended April 19, 2017. For more information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Jasmin Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

    

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Kern Front

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”), and State Water Resources Control Board on July 21, 2017 submitted a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand the aquifer exemption designations for the Vedder Formation in the Kern Front Oil Field. 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on April 19th, 2017 in Bakersfield and the public comment period ended on April 19th, 2017. For additional information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Kern Front Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

    

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Livermore

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”), with concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”), is considering a proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Greenville Sands member of the Cierbo Formation in the Livermore Oil Field located approximately 3,400 feet East of Greenville Road, the Eastern boundary for the Livermore City Limits. Subject to approval by the US Environmental Protection Agency (“US EPA”), 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 enhancedoil recovery or disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on January 11th, 2017. Public comments were accepted until 5:00pm on January 25th, 2017. For additional information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Livermore Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

More Information about this Oil Zone and the Aquifer Exemption Recommendation:


 

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Lynch Canyo​n​​

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources ("Division"), with the concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board ("State Water Board"), is considering a proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Lanigan Sand of the Monterey Formation in and around the Lynch Canyon Oil Field, located in Monterey County about 2.5 miles southeast of the town of San Ardo, CA, on Dead Mans Gulch Road. Subject to approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), 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 for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.​

A public hearing of the proposal is scheduled to be held on September 6, 2017. The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. on September 23, 2017. For additional information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Lynch Canyon Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:


 

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​Mount Poso

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) and State Water Resources Control Board on February 15, 2017 submitted a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand the aquifer exemption designations for the Pyramid Hill Sand and Vedder Formation in the Mount Poso Oil Field. 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on November 18, 2016, and the initial public comment period ended November 18, 2016. For more information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Mount Poso Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

More Information about this Oil Zone and the Aquifer Exemption Recommendation:


 

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Round Mountain

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) and State Water Resources Control Board on November 30, 2016 submitted a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand the aquifer exemption designations for the Jewett Sand, Pyramid Hill Sand, Vedder Formation, and the Walker Formation in the Round Mountain Oil Field. 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on June 14, 2016, and the initial public comment period ended June 25. Some of the public comments provoked the State to make changes to the application which are reflected in the Round Mountain Addendum. The addendum required a 15-day supplemental comment period which ended September 6. For more information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Round Mountain Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

More Information about this Oil Zone and the Aquifer Exemption Recommendation:


 

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San Ardo McCool Ranch

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”), with the concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”), is considering a proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Lombardi and Aurignac Sands of the Monterey Formation in and around the San Ardo and McCool Ranch Oil Fields, located in Monterey County about 2 miles southeast of the town of San Ardo, along Highway 101 at Alvarado Rd. Subject to approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), 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 for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on February 9, 2017. On February 14, the public comment period was extended 15 days, from 5 p.m. February 16 to 5 p.m. March 3, 2017. For additional information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the San Ardo McCool Ranch Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

More Information about this Oil Zone and the Aquifer Exemption Recommendation:

    

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Sespe 

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources ("Division"), with the concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board ("State Water Board"), is considering a proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Basal Sespe Zone of the Sespe Formation in the Sespe Oil Field, located in Ventura County about 3 miles north of the City of Fillmore, CA. Subject to approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("US EPA"), 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 for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.​

A public hearing of the proposal is scheduled to be held on October 24, 2017. The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. on November 8, 2017. For additional information about the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

 

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

 

Tejon

The California Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“Division”) and State Water Resources Control Board on December 2, 2016 submitted a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting to expand the aquifer exemption designations for the Transition Zone in the Tejon Oil Field. 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 injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

A public hearing of the proposal was held on September 12, 2016, and the initial public comment period ended September 26. For more information on the aquifer exemption proposal, please see the notices and other documents below.

Public Notice and Documents Relating to the Tejon Aquifer Exemption Application:

Public Hearing Document:

More Information about this Oil Zone and the Aquifer Exemption Recommendation:


 

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