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The State Of California Makes Changes To Fracking Regulations

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Oil well in Oildale, CA in Kern County. About 95% of reported hydraulic fractures in California were in the San Joaquin Valley, nearly all in four oil fields in Kern County.

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

This is the third version of the regulations for fracking, which injects sand, water and chemicals underground to release oil.

Oil operators have been adjusting to interim regulations put in place this year that require more groundwater monitoring and chemical disclosures.

Some of that paperwork is supposed to be placed on the Department of Conservation’s website.

But Chief Deputy Director Jason Marshall says it’s been difficult to get all the well stimulation information needed.

“It is a frustration we realize for some in the public, including us, but I wouldn’t want folks to lose sight of the fact that the stim jobs that have been happening, they’ve been happening in compliance with the regulations. It’s the disclosure side that we are still wrestling with,” says Marshall.

Under the revisions, people living near a fracking site now have more time to ask oil companies to test their well water for contamination.

And operators will be required to test for more chemicals during the fracking process. 

Amy Quinton

Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio