Sacramento – Sen. Bob Wieckowski and Sen. Fran Pavley will co-chair a joint oversight hearing of the Senate Environmental Quality, and Natural Resources and Water committees Tuesday to focus on groundwater protection in the wake of acknowledgements that several oil and gas-related injected wells were improperly sited and pose a risk of contaminating quality groundwater used for drinking water and agricultural purposes.
“To date, 23 oil and gas waste disposal wells have been ordered to be shut in and it is clear that steps must be taken to improve the oversight of these injection wells and adequately protect the public health and safety,” Wieckowski said.
The state has approximately 50,000 underground injection wells in California, the majority used for operations to spur oil and gas production. Wastewater produced by the extraction is disposed of in roughly 1,500 injection waste disposal wells. The state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) implements the Underground Injection Control Program. Federal regulators have found serious deficiencies with the state’s oversight of the underground injection wells.
WHO: Senator Bob Wieckowski and Senator Fran Pavley
Mark Nechodom, Director, Department of Conservation
Jonathan Bishop, Chief Deputy Director, State Water Resources Control Board
Matthew Rodriquez, Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency
John Laird, Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency
WHAT: Senate Environmental Quality and Senate Natural Resources and Water Joint
Oversight Hearing – “Ensuring Groundwater Protection: Is the Underground
Injection Control Program Working?”
WHERE: State Capitol, John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203)
WHEN: 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2015