Draft Rules Protecting Frontline Communities’ Health and Safety Issued

From the Peace & Justice Action Team:

On Oct. 21, the California Geologic Energy Management Agency (CalGEM) issued a momentous draft rule banning the permitting of oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, hospitals, and detention centers after an almost two year wait. Environmental justice groups across the state are celebrating the historic 3,200 ft setback for public health, the most aggressive buffer in the nation, and also are urging Governor Newsom to close the loopholes and phase out neighborhood drilling.

“Wilmington residents (LA County) have lived with the dangerous health impacts of oil drilling for far too long. The Governor’s announcement regarding the CalGEM rulemaking show us that the Newsom administration is listening to us,” said Wendy Miranda, Wilmington Community Member, Communities for a Better Environment. “But now we need them to strengthen this rule and make it law. Countless frontline environmental justice communities have been waiting for this rule and we look forward to engaging in the process to ensure that workers and communities are protected as this rule is finalized.”

The public comment period closes Dec. 21 and the final rulemaking is not expected to be in place until 2023. The Peace & Justice Action Team is working with the VISION Coalition (Voices in Solidarity Against Oil in Neighborhoods) and its allies, including 350 Bay Area Action, to strengthen the health and safety protections for frontline communities. More information and action steps to come!