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stopFracking“Discussion draft” hydraulic fracturing regulations have been released; public workshops scheduled for April 19 in Santa Barbara and April 30 in Monterey to gather public comment.

The Department of Conservation/Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources on December 18, 2012 released a “discussion draft” of regulations for the oil and natural gas production technique known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). What does “discussion draft” mean? It means that this version does not begin the formal rulemaking process. Instead, it is a starting point for discussion by key stakeholders – industry, the environmental community, other regulators, and interested members of the public – in preparation for the more formal process. These “discussion draft” regulations include provisions for pre-fracturing well testing; advance notification; monitoring during and after fracturing operations; disclosure of materials used in fracturing fluid; trade secrets; and storage and handling of hydraulic fracturing fluids.

The Department will conduct stakeholder workshops to receive input on the “discussion draft” regulations on Friday, April 19, 2013 in Santa Barbara and Tuesday, April 30, 2013 in Monterey. The meetings will run from noon to 8 p.m..

The Santa Barbara meeting will be held at the University Club of Santa Barbara, 1332 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara CA, 93101.

The Monterey meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1000 Aguajito Road, Monterey CA, 93940.

The actual “discussion draft regulations” and other material can be found on the Department’s home page, http://www.conservation.ca.gov/Index/Pages/Index.aspx.