Amended in Assembly May 28, 2013

Amended in Assembly May 8, 2013

Amended in Assembly March 21, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1323

Introduced by Assembly Member Mitchell

February 22, 2013

An act to add Sections 3017 and 3203.5 to the Public Resources Code, relating to oil and gas.


AB 1323, as amended, Mitchell. Oil and gas: hydraulic fracturing.

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(1) Under

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begin insertUnderend insert existing law, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation regulates the drilling, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of oil and gas wells in the state. The State Oil and Gasbegin delete Supervisor, referred to as the supervisor,end deletebegin insert Supervisorend insert supervises the drilling, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of wells and the operation, maintenance, and removal or abandonment of tanks and facilities related to oil and gas production within an oil and gas field regarding safety and environmental damage. Existing law requires an operator of a well, before commencing the work of drilling the well, to obtain approval from the supervisor or a district deputy. Violation of these provisions is a misdemeanor.

This bill would define “hydraulic fracturing” in oil and gas operations and would prohibit hydraulic fracturing until thebegin delete completion of a report, as specified, and a determination is made that hydraulic fracturing can be conducted without a risk to the public health and welfare, environment, or the economy of the state. A violation of this prohibition would be a misdemeanor. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also express the intent of the Legislature to, among other things, protect the public health and welfare, natural and environmental resources, and economic interest of the stateend deletebegin insert date that regulations adopted by the division regulating hydraulic fracturing take effect. Because a violation of this prohibition is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local programend insert.

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(2) Existing law establishes the Natural Resources Agency consisting of various entities, departments, and boards. Existing law also establishes the California Environmental Protection Agency consisting of various entities, departments, and boards.

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This bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency and the Secretary for Environmental Protection to (A) convene an advisory committee, by July 1, 2014, to develop a report relating to hydraulic fracturing, as specified; (B) to complete the report on or before January 1, 2016, and provide a copy to the Governor and the Legislature on or before that date; and (C) to make a determination, as specified, not later than January 1, 2019, as to whether and under what conditions hydraulic fracturing is permitted within the state.

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The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


The Legislature finds and declares all of the

3(a) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to protect
4the public health and welfare, natural and environmental resources,
5and the economic value of private and public property in the state.

6(b) The Legislature recognizes that hydraulic fracturing poses
7serious threats to California’s air, water, climate, environment,
8wildlife, and public health.

P3    1(c) The Legislature further recognizes that hydraulic fracturing
2is currently occurring in California with scarce monitoring or
3regulationbegin delete,end delete and almost completely undisclosed to the people of the

5(d) Although some potential impacts from hydraulic fracturing
6are currently under investigation by federal agencies, other states,
7and academic and research institutions, no independent and
8scientific investigations are being undertaken or have been
9completed in California to examine the risks to the state’s unique
10geologic, geographic, atmospheric, and environmental conditions
11and resources.

12(e) There is scarce independent information, investigation, and
13analysis regarding the tools and mechanisms available to assess
14the risks and impacts of hydraulic fracturing and to protect the
15public health and welfarebegin delete,end delete and the environmental resources from
16these impacts.

17(f) The Legislature recognizes the immediate need to protect
18against, and prepare for, the emergencies and impacts related to
19hydraulic fracturing as well as the related activities that could range
20from small localized events to far-reaching disasters with complex
21consequences that could require the involvement and coordination
22among many agencies. Mechanisms to ensure funding,
23coordination, and equipment for response to these impacts are
24urgently needed to be identified and adopted.


SEC. 2.  

Section 3017 is added to the Public Resources Code,
26to read:



“Hydraulic fracturing” means the injection of fluids or
28gases into an underground geologic formation with the intention
29to cause or enhance fractures in the formation, in order to cause
30or enhance the production of oil or gas from a well. Alternate terms
31include, but are not limited to, “fracking,” “hydrofracking,” and


SEC. 3.  

Section 3203.5 is added to the Public Resources Code,
34to read:



Hydraulic fracturing is prohibited untilbegin delete all of the
36following requirements are met:end delete
begin insert the date that regulations adopted
37by the division regulating hydraulic fracturing take effect.end insert

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38(a) (1) By July 1, 2014, the Secretary of the Natural Resources
39Agency and the Secretary for Environmental Protection shall
40convene an advisory committee to develop a report, based on the
P4    1best scientific information available, relating to hydraulic
2fracturing. The advisory committee shall include two
3representatives from each of the following:

4(A) The California Environmental Protection Agency.

5(B) The Natural Resources Agency.

6(C) The State Department of Public Health.

7(D) Environmental justice organizations.

8(E) The agriculture industry.

9(F) The oil and gas industry.

10(G) Two academic researchers with experience in hydraulic
11fracturing issues.

12(H) Water agencies.

13(2) The advisory committee shall address specific issues related
14to hydraulic fracturing in the report, which shall include, but is not
15limited to, all of the following:

16(A) A description of hydraulic fracturing, and other enhanced
17oil and gas recovery techniques.

18(B) All potential health and environmental impacts related to
19hydraulic fracturing, including, but not limited to, all of the

21(i) The handling and disposition of produced water or

23(ii) Contamination of groundwater or surface water.

24(iii) The supply and sources of water used in hydraulic fracturing
25and its impact on the state, regional, and local water supply.

26(iv) Air quality impacts, including, but not limited to, particulate
27and volatile organic compound and methane releases.

28(v) Impacts on climate change and emissions of greenhouse
29gases, including the goals set in the California Global Warming
30Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section
3138500) of the Health and Safety Code).

32(vi) The potential for migration of gases and fluids through
33geologic formations.

34(vii) The potential for generating seismic activity, both as a
35result of increased hydraulic fracturing and the disposal of produced
36wastewater into underground injection wells.

37(viii) The use, handling, and accidental spill of chemicals used
38in hydraulic fracturing.

39(ix) Impacts on endangered species and their habitat.

P5    1(C) All potential economic impacts of increased hydraulic
2fracturing operations and other enhanced oil and gas recovery
3methods in the state.

4(D) All potential effects on communities most likely to be
5negatively affected by the impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

6(E) A review of the regulations affecting hydraulic fracturing
7and an analysis of whether these are adequate to address the issues
8identified in this report.

9(F) Recommendations for emergency planning and mechanisms
10necessary to ensure adequate and fully funded responses to
11emergencies related to hydraulic fracturing operations.

12(G) Recommendations for regulatory and statutory changes
13needed to address the issues covered in the report.

14(3) The advisory committee shall develop the report in the
15context of current and foreseeable hydraulic fracturing operations
16in the state, such as potential operations in the Monterey shale and
17northern California gas reservoirs.

18(b) Prior to finalizing the report, the Secretary of the Natural
19Resources Agency and the Secretary for Environmental Protection
20shall seek independent peer review by persons of the scientific and
21academic community commonly acknowledged to be experts on
22the subjects under consideration and possessing the knowledge
23and expertise to critique the scientific validity of the report.

24(c) A draft of the final report shall be made available for public
25comment for a period of no less than 120 days.

26(d) The final report shall be completed on or before January 1,
272016, and a copy shall be provided to the Governor and the
28Legislature by the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency and
29the Secretary for Environmental Protection on or before that date.

30(e) Upon completion of the report, the Secretary of the Natural
31Resources Agency and the Secretary for Environmental Protection
32shall make a determination not later than January 1, 2019, as to
33whether, and under what conditions, hydraulic fracturing is
34permitted within the state. The determination shall be made only
35after measures are in place to ensure that any activities related to
36hydraulic fracturing do not pose a risk to the public health and
37welfare, environment, or economy of the state.

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SEC. 4.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
39Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
40the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
P6    1district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
2infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
3for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
4the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
5the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California