SACRAMENTO – Today, the Newsom Administration revealed a new study and 500 page report that supports a recent draft rule requiring 3200 foot setbacks from oil and gas wells throughout the state.
Assemblymember Bloom reacted, saying, “This is very exciting news. There are nearly five and a half million Californians who live within one mile of an oil or gas well. Studies have linked living and working in close proximity to oil and gas wells to a host of health impacts, including increased risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, high-risk pregnancies and pre-term births, and in some cases, cancer."
Oil and gas extraction also have significant environmental impacts, producing air toxics, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene and formaldehyde, fine and ultra-fine particulate matter (PM), and hydrogen sulfide. Other risks include water contamination, toxic chemicals spills, and explosions.
A 2018 report issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revealed that there are 68 active oil fields in the LA Basin and in some neighborhoods, such as South Los Angeles, homes are located as little as 60 feet away from an active oil well. The study also identified at least two neighborhood production facilities were found in a state of disrepair with environmental conditions impacting the health of neighborhood residents.
"Environmental and community stakeholders and legislators have long been calling for these setbacks and I am pleased that the Administration is now heeding our call," said Assemblymember Bloom. "It’s clear that well setbacks are necessary to protect public health and safety and I strongly support the state’s efforts to see that they are finally imposed.”
The well setback draft rule will now undergo a rule making proceeding that will be initiated by a 60 day comment period, followed by hearings before an administrative law judge.
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.