California Moving Forward with the Implementation of SB 4


Efforts are already underway to implement SB 4, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 20, 2013 (see September 23, 2013 post).  The California Department of Conservation (the “Department”) and its Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources have begun developing draft regulations months before the law’s effective date of January 1, 2014.  The process of developing draft regulations is expected to take several weeks with a likely release of the draft regulations by the end of the year.  SB 4 requires regulations to be developed by January 1, 2015, and the Department expects to meet this deadline. 

The regulations will address well integrity testing and monitoring, and other provisions of SB 4 including public disclosure, trade secrets, and interagency coordination.  With the draft regulations, the Department will prepare a rulemaking package, including a Notice of Proposed Action, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act.  After publication of the Notice of Proposed Action and release of the draft regulations, the public may provide comments during the 45-day public comment period.

In addition to developing official draft regulations, the Department is moving forward with the independent scientific study of well stimulation techniques required by SB 4.  The study of well stimulation techniques will include hydraulic fracturing and acid matrix stimulation.  Further, the Department has begun the environmental review required under SB 4, and this will comply with the notice and comment requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act.

SB 4 requires development of regulations to protect groundwater, and the California State Water Resources Control Board is separately developing these regulations and standards for regional groundwater quality testing.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Stoel Rives LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Stoel Rives LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.