News Worth Noting: Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications: Public meetings scheduled for July; CA officials propose allowing oil companies to dump waste fluid into dozens of underground water supplies; David Mooney selected as Deputy Area Manager for Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Area Office
Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications: Public meetings scheduled for July
From the Department of Water Resources:
The initial basin boundary modification request submission period and the public comment period for each of modification requests is closed and the Technical Review of requested basin boundary modifications and public input is underway. Once complete, DWR will publish a Draft Approved Basin Boundary Modification list on the website. In July, a series of public meetings will be held to present the draft modifications and hear any additional public comment. The meeting schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 – Redding
777 Cypress Avenue, Redding, CA 96001
Civic Center Community Room
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – Clovis
808 4th Street, Clovis, CA 93612
Veteran’s Memorial Building, Freedom Room
Thursday, July 14, 2016 – Santa Ana
505 E. Central Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92707
Delhi Community Center, Ballroom
Friday, July 15, 2016: West Sacramento
3500 Industrial Boulevard, West Sacramento, CA 95691
NCRO Conference Room
For more information and resources regarding Basin Boundary Modification Requests please visit the website here.
Following the July public meetings, the public comment will be summarized and presented to the California Water Commission, which will hear the modifications and provide the public an opportunity to comment. Following consideration and potential incorporation of comments heard, the DWR will publish the final basin boundary modifications. Per SGMA, these new basin definitions will be evaluated under the basin prioritization process and documented in the interim update of Bulletin 118.
To discuss modification submissions please contact your DWR Region Office Representatives. You can locate your respective Region Office contact by accessing the map-tool here.
California Officials Propose Allowing Oil Companies to Dump Waste Fluid Into Dozens of Underground Water Supplies
California oil officials today revealed a plan to turn dozens of underground sources of drinking water across the state over to the oil industry for disposal of contaminated waste fluid. The proposal includes aquifers in Monterey, Ventura, Kern and other counties (see interactive map).
Under the plan from the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, state regulators will make up to 60 applications in the next four months asking the Environmental Protection Agency to exempt California aquifers from federal drinking-water protections. If the EPA approves the state’s applications, oil companies would be allowed to operate injection wells and dump waste fluid into these underground drinking water sources.
“State oil regulators’ disturbing proposal to sacrifice dozens of aquifers to the oil industry is an enormous threat to California’s water supplies,” said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The federal EPA must stop this incredibly foolish plan to let oil companies dump polluted waste fluid into these underground water sources.”
Oil wastewater commonly contains cancer-causing benzene and other pollutants, according to the oil division’s own testing. Flowback fluid coming out of fracked wells in California contains benzene at levels as high as 1,500 times the federal limits for drinking water, according to oil companies’ own tests.
The aquifer exemption proposals follow admissions by Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration that state regulators let oil companies drill thousands of wells and dump oil waste into scores of protected underground water supplies across California, in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Just a few dozen of those illegal injection wells have been shut down, and state officials hope to allow most of the remaining wells to continue operating by exempting aquifers from legal protection.
“Gov. Jerry Brown’s regulators seem determined to give our underground water away to the oil industry,” Kretzmann said. “If we let oil companies contaminate these aquifers and endanger nearby water resources, Californians are going to bitterly regret that decision in the dry decades to come.”
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Reclamation Announces the Selection of David Mooney as Deputy Area Manager for the Bay-Delta Area Office
From the Bureau of Reclamation:
“David has lead several key programs and projects in the Region,” stated Deputy Regional Director Pablo Arroyave. “His exceptional knowledge will be a great asset in fulfilling the Bay-Delta Office’s mission in effectively responding to the political, economic and ecological needs of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta.”
Assuming his new responsibilities on Monday, June 13, Mooney will provide support to the Bay-Delta Office Manager for activities including implementation of biological opinions for the coordinated operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project; coordination and implementation actions required in Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives in the FWS 2008 and NMFS 2009 Biological Opinions; implementation of the Suisun Marsh Preservation Agreement; Reclamation activities associated with the California WaterFix process; coordination of Reclamation’s components of the Interim Federal Action Plan; and engagement with the Science Task Force and the Interagency Ecological Program. The BDO partners with other federal, state and local agencies, water and power stakeholders, the environmental community and the public in addressing these urgent and emerging priorities.
Mooney began his career with Reclamation in 2004 with the Technical Service Center in Denver working in the River Hydraulics and Sedimentation Group. Since that time, he served as the lead engineer in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, Administrator of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Restoration Fund, and Chief of the Program Management Branch supervising Anadromous Fish Restoration, Fish Screens, Refuge Water Supply, and Water Conservation activities.
Mooney holds in Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, specializing in River Mechanics, from Colorado State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Colorado.
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About News Worth Noting: News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations. News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms. If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.