California Legislative Developments

Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Bill Moves Through California Legislature

On June 1, 2011, the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 591, which, if ultimately passed by the State Senate and signed by the Governor, would impose a number of new public disclosure requirements on operators conducting hydraulic fracturing operations in California. Among other things, AB 591 would (1) require the operator to list the chemical constituents in the fracturing fluid; (2) require well histories to include information regarding (a) the amount and source of water used in the exploration or production from the well; (b) the radiological components or tracers injected into the well, and (c) a complete list of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing. The information would be submitted to the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) and would then be added to existing Internet maps on the DOGGR’s Web site and made available to the public. 

CARB Releases Supplement to AB 32 Scoping Plan Functional Equivalent Document

On June 13, 2011, in response to a court order blocking implementation of the Cap-and-Trade Program proposed by the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”), CARB released the “Supplement to the AB 32 Scoping Plan Functional Equivalent Document” (“Supplement”).  This Supplement provides an expanded analysis of the five project alternatives geared towards meeting the goals of AB 32 and the 2008 Scoping Plan.  The Supplement was prepared by CARB in response to a San Francisco court’s finding that the analysis of the impacts of the alternatives in the 2008 Scoping Plan were not sufficient under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) (see Association of Irritated Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, et al., San Francisco Superior Court, Case Number CPF-09-509562, May 20, 2011).  However, in the meantime, the court’s order blocking implementation has been temporarily stayed pursuant to an order by the First Appellate District, Division 3 while it reviews CARB’s appeal.

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