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Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production - Announcements

Staff Workshop – Definition of “Protected Water”

State Water Board staff held a workshop on Friday, May 10, 2019 to fulfil the Senate Bill 4 (Pavley, 2013) requirement to review the definition of “Protected Water” (see Water Code§ 10783(k)(2)). This was an informational workshop only, and as such, the State Water Board did not take any formal action (staff collected input only). The May 10, 2019 Staff Workshop webcast was recorded and can accessed below.

Final 2018 Memorandum of Agreement Between the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Conservation , Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) have signed the Revised Memorandum of Agreement between the State Water Board and DOGGR regarding underground injection control, discharges to land and other program issues (2018 Revised MOA).

Regional Groundwater Monitoring

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has summarized in a letter dated January 22, 2018, its objectives, sample collection and analysis protocols, quality-assurance procedures, approaches, and reporting procedures used for the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Regional Monitoring Program of Water Quality in Areas of Oil and Gas Production.

Aquifer Exemption Proposals

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources ("DOGGR"), with concurrence of the State Water Resources Control Board ("State Water Board"), is considering proposals to expand current aquifer exemption designations statewide. Subject to approval by the US Environmental Protection Agency ("US EPA"), the proposed aquifer exemptions would allow the State, in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, to approve Class II injection into the identified area, either for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.

Public hearings for each proposal will be held in communities near the aquifer exemption proposals. For updated information on upcoming public hearings and aquifer exemption proposals, please visit http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/Pages/Aquifer_Exemptions.aspx

Performance Measures for Model Criteria: New information is now available

Information on performance measures for the evaluation of the Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring in Areas of Oil and Gas Well Stimulation is available here.

Senate Bill 83 - Underground Injection Control and Produced Water Pond Report

Senate Bill (SB) 83 Section 45 (statutes of 2015) requires that the State Water Board submit a status report on the regulation of oil field produced water ponds by January 30, 2016, and every six months thereafter. These reports include the total number of ponds in each region, the number of permitted and unpermitted ponds, enforcement actions, and the status of permitting the unpermitted ponds.

SB 83 also requires DOGGR and the State Water Board to semi-annually report to the relevant committees of the Legislature on the status of the Department of Conservation’s underground injection control (UIC) program. The most recent UIC report can be found in the "Current News" portion of the DOGGR website titled "Underground Injection Control Report" http://www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/

Details on the Water Boards status on regulating activities for Produced Water Ponds are available here.

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