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SCAQMD Adopts New Notification and Reporting Requirements for "Fracking" and Other Oil and Gas Well Drilling Activities

April 6, 2013

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has adopted California’s first comprehensive notification and reporting requirements to provide information needed to assess air quality and health effects from oil and gas drilling activities in the region.

Adoption of the new requirements follows a symposium sponsored by the SCAQMD in September 2012 that focused on potential air quality impacts from oil and gas extraction activities, including hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking.”

"This measure will help us protect public health by providing important information on any air quality impacts that may be associated with hydraulic fracturing activities,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D., chairman of the SCAQMD Board.

Rule 1148.2 – Notification and Reporting Requirements for Oil and Gas Wells and Chemical Suppliers – establishes notification and reporting requirements for all oil and gas well drilling, reworks, and well completion activities in the Southland.  This action is the first step of a two-step approach to gather air quality-related information on oil and gas well drilling activities in order to identify the magnitude and type of emissions associated with these operations.

The first step of Rule 1148.2 will:
--  Require oil and gas well operators to notify SCAQMD no less than 24 hours before commencement of drilling, well completion, or any rework activities. The notification must also include information on the well location and activity to take place, as well as any nearby sensitive receptors such as schools or daycare centers up to 1,500 feet from the well location;
--  Require reporting to SCAQMD of the names and quantities of chemicals, non-trade and trade secret, and other process information within 60 after days after completion of well activities; and
--  Require a report by SCAQMD staff to the Governing Board on notifications received, emissions reports and chemical use reporting.  

The rule also requires reporting of combustion equipment activity; fugitive dust emissions from on-site mixing operations and potential hydrocarbon and toxic emissions from drilling and fluids that return to the surface.  

The second step of the rule will take place after no later than two years of data collection. At that time SCAQMD’s Governing Board will consider if data collection and notification should continue and, based on the data collected, whether to adopt new requirements to reduce emissions from oil and gas well activities.

SCAQMD will provide emissions information reported on well activities on its website at within 24 hours of receiving the information.

There are 273 facilities operating approximately 4,614 onshore oil and gas wells in the Southland.  Many of these facilities are located in urban areas, and sometimes located in close proximity to residential areas.  

In other action, the Board:
-- Awarded $2.5 million to Siemens Industry Inc. as part of a $13.5 million project to build one mile of an overhead electric catenary system, and to develop and demonstrate a diesel hybrid electric truck using the catenary system.  The Board also awarded $2.1 million to Transportation Power to develop and demonstrate a compressed natural gas (CNG) hybrid electric truck and a system for an existing battery electric truck for use on the catenary system.  The overhead electric catenary demonstration is proposed for the City of Carson along Alameda Street from East Lomita Boulevard to the Dominguez Channel. Today’s awards will help initiate the development and demonstration of a zero emissions goods movement corridor.

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.  

This page updated: April 09, 2013