Fifth Appellate District Holds Kern County Oil and Gas Activity Ordinance Invalid

April 2020

California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 30, Number 7

On February 25, 2020, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District invalidated Kern County’s Oil and Gas Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), including on the ground that the County’s underlying programmatic Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) inappropriately deferred the implementation of mitigation measures to address impacts to water supplies. King and Gardiner Farms, LLC, et al. v. County of Kern, et al., Case No. F077656 (Feb. 25, 2020). Adopted by the Kern County Board of Supervisors in November 2015, the Ordinance was intended to streamline the permitting process for a variety of oil and gas activities within unincorporated portions of the County, including for oil and gas production wells, as well as related infrastructure such as well pads and pipelines.

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