BUILDING A FRAMEWORK FOR RESPONSIBLE OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT
Kern County Oil And Gas
Development Zoning Ordinance EIR
E & E led development of a landmark environmental impact report (EIR) for an amendment to the Title 19 – Kern County Zoning Ordinance designed to establish standards for oil and gas development in the Kern County. It promotes oil and gas recovery in a manner compatible with surrounding land uses and protection of biological resources and public health and safety by establishing reasonable limitations, safeguards, and controls on exploration, drilling, and production of hydrocarbon resources.
Managing a Massive, High-Profile, Contentious Project
Conducting a comprehensive analysis of Kern County meant assessing and cataloging potential impacts to resources (like groundwater, water quality, agriculture, air quality, biological resources, etc.) across 2.8 million acres. Further complicating the project, oil and gas activity in the region has been controversial, exacerbated by high-profile drought and hydraulic fracturing in the region.
Responsiveness Through Innovation
CORES, E & E's Web-based system for managing public comments, allowed us to be responsive to the 400+ stakeholders for the high-profile project. We received 69 unique comments requiring response, and effectively generated 1937 targeted responses. We worked with Kern County, outside legal counsel, and a coalition of oil and gas developers to address hundreds of public comments and revise impact and mitigation sections for the final EIR. To achieve the aggressive schedule for the final EIR, E & E team members and outside counsel congregated at the County offices and worked non-stop over a two-week period to incorporate all comments into CORES and provide responses.
Our ability to manage and analyze large geospatial datasets to quantify impacts—in a meaningful way to both regulators and stakeholders—helped our client facilitate the development of mitigation measures to avoid or minimize resource impacts to the extent practicable. The resulting ordinance sets parameters for more responsible oil and gas development—including restrictions, for example, on how a site can be developed—while simultaneously streamlining the permitting process for individual wells.
CORES streamlines the task of responding to public comments and provides clients with publication-ready documents that clearly present comment letters in both printable and electronic formats.