On September 20, 2013, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 4 (Pavley, Ch 313, Stats of 2013). On November 15, 2013, the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (Division) began the formal rulemaking process for Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations, which will go into effect no later than July 1, 2015. Effective January 1, 2014, an interim set of regulations requires oil and gas well operators to submit notification of well stimulation treatments and various types of data associated with well stimulation operations, including chemical disclosure of well stimulation fluids, to the Division. In addition, the Division is required to compile submitted information regarding these activities and make it available to the public in a format that is easily searchable.
Interim Well Stimulation Notices
Effective January 1, 2014 and continuing until permanent regulations are adopted, Senate Bill 4 requires that oil and gas operators certify certain information and actions prior to any well stimulation activity. Information provided by operators can be found on the Division's New Interim Well Stimulation Treatment Index.
The Groundwater Monitoring Exemption Documents Directory can be found here.
The Groundwater Monitoring Plan Directory can be found here.
Well Stimulation Treatment Disclosure Reporting
Effective January 1, 2014, Senate Bill 4 requires an operator to post, within 60 days following the cessation of a well stimulation treatment, specified information regarding the composition and disposition of well stimulation fluids, including, but not limited to, hydraulic fracturing fluids, acid well stimulation fluids, and flowback fluids, to a Chemical Disclosure Registry that is accessible to the public.
Information provided by operators can be found here.
SB 4 Implementation
The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources must certify an environmental analysis of SB 4 by July 1, 2015. Also the Natural Resources Agency must commission an independent scientific study of well stimulation by January 1, 2015; a timeline for the study is being developed.Additional materials:
Frequently asked questions can be found here
A narrative about the development of the proposed regulations
A glossary of oil and gas terminology
The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources hydraulic fracturing information page
The Senate Bill 4 Implementation Plan
The California Water Code Section 13267 orders, seeking information from 78 oil and gas operators in the central valley region can be found here.
The State of California, Water Resources Control Board (WRCB), Groundwater Monitoring Program for Oil and Gas Production Areas, can be found here.
Readopted SB 4 Interim Well Stimulation Regulations Now in Effect
On June 27, 2014, a readoption of the SB 4 interim well stimulation treatment regulations was filed with the Secretary of State. The interim regulations, which first went into effect on January 1, 2014, were adopted by emergency rulemaking to ensure that essential implementing regulations were in effect when Senate Bill 4 became effective. The interim regulations provide a fundamental baseline level of environmental priotection while the more comprehensive regulations are being developed. Key components of SB 4 -- such as water quality monitoring and testing and public transparency -- are addressed in the interim regulations.
On June 20, 2014, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 861 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 35, Statutes of 2014), which took effect immediately. SB 861 amended the Department's authority to use emergency rulemaking to establish interim regulations for implementation of SB 4. As allowed under the new law, the readopted SB 4 interim well stimulation treatment regulations will remain in effect until revised by the Department or until July 1, 2015, whichever is earlier.
The final text of the readopted SB 4 interim well stimulation treatment regulations and other rulemaking documents can be found here.
Well Stimulation Final Regulations
The most current version and status of final well stimulation regulations can be found here. The final regulations go into effect July 1, 2015.
Well Stimulation Treatment Disclosure Reporting Form
The following instructions are for using the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources’ (Division) Well Stimulation Treatment Disclosure Reporting Form and FracFocus for completing the required public disclosure and data submittal pursuant to Public Resources Code section 3160, subdivisions (b) and (g), and California Code of Regulations, title 14, (CCR) section 1788.
- Within 60 days after the cessation of the well stimulation treatment, the required data shall be completed and submitted.
- Well Stimulation Treatment Disclosure Reporting Form.
Notice To Operators (NTOs)
The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources Sends Out Notice to Operators to Address Mandates of Senate Bill 4
The Division sent out a NTO, dated December 31, 2014, clarifying what constitutes the end of a well stimulation treatment (WST) and the Discloser requirements that are triggered when a WST is completed. The NTO also clarifies when a new WST Notice must be obtained to initiate further stimulation of a well. The NTO can be found here.
Environmental Impact Report
DOC Submits Notice of Preparation for SB 4 EIR
SB 4 also requires the Department/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to prepare an EIR to analyze the impacts of well stimulation treatments. The Notice of Preparation for this EIR (required by CEQA) can be found here
. Suggestions of the content and scope of the EIR were taken at several public scoping meetings around the state.
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