The BLM’s comprehensive strategy for the federal oil and gas program in California incorporates information from the Independent Science Review by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST); provides internal guidance for processing of applications for permits to drill and sundry notices; and provides the results from public scoping on oil and gas development in the Hollister Field Office.
The CCST report-- Advanced Well Stimulation Technologies in California: An Independent Review of Scientific and Technical Information --was commissioned by the BLM in September 2013. The BLM requested a rigorous, independent expert assessment in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the best available science and potential impacts of using well stimulation technology in the unique geology of California. Information from the independent science review will be incorporated into future oil and gas lease sales and permitting statewide. The work is being coordinated with the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Department of Conservation, which is implementing a similar effort directed by California Senate Bill 4 (SB 4).
BLM has published the results from public scoping for oil and gas development for the Hollister Field Office’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Resource Management Plan (RMP) amendment. During the scoping process, the BLM received more than 130 public comments, the majority of which expressed concerns about potential groundwater pollution and the amount of water used in oil and gas production. Other concerns included air quality, health and safety, seismicity and climate change. The BLM will incorporate these comments into the development of alternatives for the EIS.
The BLM has issued internal guidance through an Instructional Memorandum CA-2014-031 (IM), directing its field offices to request from oil and gas operators the information that is required by the State of California through SB 4. This guidance will help the BLM and the State share information more efficiently to ensure operator compliance with the provisions of both SB 4 and BLM regulations.