California Proposes Setback Requirement for New Oil and Gas Wells – How Does it Measure Up?

December 2021

Environmental, Energy, & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter, Volume 2, Number 3 and California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 31, Number 3

On October 21, 2021, the California Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) released a draft regulation that would prohibit new oil and gas wells and facilities within 3,200-feet from homes, schools, hospitals, and other sensitive locations. If approved, California’s setback requirement would become the nation’s largest statewide buffer zone between oil wells and communities. Colorado currently has the nation’s largest setback requirement from oil wells as 2,000 feet; but it has several exceptions. Therefore, as proposed, California’s setback requirement is significantly larger than Colorado’s and lacks exceptions. As California continues the rulemaking process, it is valuable to see how the rule compares to the nation’s current most stringent buffer zone.

Subscribers to the Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter can read the full article here.

Subscribers to the California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter can read the full article here.