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Posts from the "Baldwin Hills" Category

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The Artful DOGGR: DOGGR Embarks on a Listening Tour, is Told to Take a Fracking Leap

The Long Beach stop of regulatory agency DOGGR's listening tour for citizen concerns about fracking

WHERE THE WORKSHOP ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, or “fracking,” drew a record (and raucous) crowd in Culver City Tuesday night, the scene Wednesday night in Long Beach was more subdued. There was a steady stream of speakers ready to voice their concerns about the practice, but there were fewer of them and they were more reserved in their presentations.

This may, in part, be because of the limited outreach conducted prior to the workshop.

Why did she have to learn about the meeting through the news media, a frustrated woman wanted to know. Why hadn’t the regulatory agency, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), been more active in reaching out to residents?

Similarly, Milton, a community organizer from Communities for a Better Environment, asked why DOGGR had not conducted outreach in immigrant communities or provided their materials in languages other than English.   Immigrants frequently reside in areas where drilling and other environmentally hazardous activities take place.

Both of them had a point. In addition to attendance being somewhat sparse, the demographic skewed much older, white, and well-to-do despite the socio-economic diversity of Long Beach and the proximity of the oilfields to the meeting site.

Their questions were met with silence.

In fact, very few questions were answered that evening, much to everyone’s dismay. Read more…

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Go Frack Yourself: neighbors in Baldwin Hills turn out to talk fracking with Plains Exploration & Production and DOGGR

“Why are you using discredited science?” asks Paul Ferrazzi, a member of the Community Advisory Panel of Supervisor Tim Kustic and Chief Deputy Director Jason Marshall, representatives of the Department of Conservation

Last night, representatives from the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), Plains Exploration & Production (PXP), the oil company in charge of the Baldwin Hill Oil Field, and other officials went head to head with members of the Greater Baldwin Hills Alliance and a highly a skeptical community in a standing-room-only meeting at the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area Community Center.

They were there to talk about fracking — a controversial practice that aims to access hard-to-reach deposits of oil and natural gas by enhanced drilling techniques that inject a mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals into the ground — and the steps PXP has taken to increase health and safety protections in the oil field, the largest contiguous urban oil field in the country.

The community has reason to be skeptical. In early 2006, noxious fumes released by PXP’s drilling operations wafted through nearby residential areas. Complaints about the odors came from as far as two miles away, and a number of residents evacuated the area.

Residents were stunned to learn at the time that, although PXP had begun one of the most extensive drilling programs in the state – drilling only hundreds of feet from some residences – there had been no environmental impact review as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Moreover, DOGGR, a state agency, had been the one to issue PXP the permits without requiring the CEQA review.

The 2008 lawsuit filed by community members resulted in a settlement whereby PXP agreed to reduce the number of wells drilled, commission additional studies on health and air quality, and determine the effects that fracking could have on the surrounding area.

To study the effects of fracking, however, said the PXP representative, one must actually do some fracking. Read more…