Newsletter # 39 Planning hearing results – Call to Action- This is a Biggie.

Word on the street was the Planning Dept.hearing was prepared to approve a three year extension on the expired 31 wells. That was Before they got the word from concerned residents and our local Sierra Club.       Letters written, emails sent and public comments made  expressing our concerns. They heard us. The word Now is the Planning Board is revisiting the EIR and have continued the hearing until Oct. 22nd when all the members will be in attendance and they can address our concerns.  Way to go people!!!!!  We did it. Give yourselves a hand. 👏   We will be back on Oct. 22.

Next, the Sept. 21st Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, DOGGR,  hearing- This is a biggie. kicking off the whole DOGGR aquifer exemption process across the State.  Here goes. 
The proposal to expand the current aquifer exemption designation for the Dollie sands of the Pismo formation in the Arroyo Grande oil field (in unincorporated San Luis Obispo county near the intersection of Ormonde Road and Price Canyon Road).  Subject to approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“US EPA”), the proposed aquifer exemption would allow the State, in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, to approve Class II injection into the identified area, either for enhanced oil recovery or for injection disposal of fluids associated with oil and gas production.Need I say this is a very very bad idea for a number of very very good reasons.  All of which we will be discussing and preparing for in one of two ways.First, I received this email from Natalie Beller.

Aquifer exemption hearing

Natalie Beller <>

Hi All!

You are receiving this email because you gave it to Maria, Trish, or I, or I found your email address on the documents from last Thursday’s planning commission hearing regarding the Price Canyon oil fields.
The purpose of this email is to connect people that are interested in this issue. When people work together they are often more powerful that when they act alone.
Please use this email chain to communicate to the group
1) what you would like to talk about on the hearing date
2) what resources you can offer  – i.e. articles, expert opinions, spreading info (passing flyers, writing to government representatives, contacting newspapers).
This email chain is expected to last for one week. At which point, we can decide if we want to continue to use it to plan for the October 22 SLO county planning commission hearing.
Trish Wilson has offered her home as a meeting place next Sunday, Sept 20, at 4 p.m. She would like to know if anybody would like to meet then. If you would like to meet in person sooner, please offer a meeting place. Trish’s  address is 1606 Old Oak Park Road, Arroyo Grande, CA.
Thanks and have a great week,


Contact Natalie if you plan to attend the Sunday strategy meeting. I’ll be there and hope the Arroyo Grande Water Group will be too.

Also just got word Center for Biological Diversity has put out an APB to all to attend THE rally at the Monday meeting scheduled for 3 pm. Yes there is going to be a Rally. The hearing starts at 4.  CBD is sending experts to address  DOGGR and who can go toe to toe with their legal eagles. This is the kick off in a series of meetings DOGGR is holding to get wells across the state exempted. The buck stops here.

We need to send a strong strong united message not just for us here in SLO but set the tone for the whole State. This is a Biggie. Students. Environmental Groups. Surfers. Farmers. Business owners.  WE are all in this together to protect our life style and quality of life.

The email chain will give you ideas for comments written or use during the public comment section. CBD will be sending bullet points and talking points I will forward on to you all.

Attend the Sunday meeting. And lets rally the troops and pack the room on Monday.  There will be lots of media there and once again all eyes will  be on SLO. The world will be watching. This is a big deal.    Lets give them something to remember and a whole new impression of what SLO stands for.  We have been preparing for this for over 3 years. Go Team SLO!!!!! And lets keep it cheery and upbeat. We are so glad to be the first and have been waiting for this moment. Yea Team.


So, There you have it folks. A ready made plan for success.


Get in touch with Natalie and post your comments and suggestions per her email chain. Reply all.  I will do the same.

We don’t have much time, less than a week so let me start the ball rolling

by suggesting a talking point.

The Underground Injection Control UIC program mandated to the States by the EPA is in the draft stage.

The federal regulations for the UIC Program are found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) establishes requirements and provisions for the UIC Program. DOGGR had failed to implement the UIC program critical to insuring the safety, health, and well being of our groundwater and aquifers. DOGGR is working on a draft.

Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974. In part, the SDWA requires EPA to develop minimum federal requirements for UIC programs and other safeguards to protect public health by preventing injection wells from contaminating underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).

Freeport McMoRan is applying for an exemption to the UIC program that is not even implemented yet.

It is requesting permission to continue to re inject toxic waste water containing possible benzene, hydrogen sulfide, radioactive isotopes, and who knows what else because they are also exempt from the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Release Inventory under the Community Right to Know Act, into an unspecified underground aquifer on the property. I say unspecified because the boundaries are unclear and source unidentified.

The exemptions just means there are no records of what is in the waste water or where it is going. No reporting or monitoring system by DOGGR has been in effect.  Further, Freeport is basing their exemption request on an undocumented 1983 agreement with the EPA.

Freeport recently commissioned a study on the condition of the groundwater per the Conditional Use Permit.  The study was based in part on Freeport’s records and data of the water sources and conditions they were not required to keep. Recommend exemption denied until UIC is fully implemented and Freeport is in total compliance verified by a independent certified water testing contractor.


We are going to make it real easy for everyone to get involved one way or another because in essence we are all going to be adversely impacted one way or another if the exemptions are approved.  Water mainly is what connects us all.  It’s o.k. to feel a little uncomfortable with activism but believe me the more you do the more comfortable you get and then it starts to feel good. Every persons counts. WE need wall to wall bodies.

Get on Natalie’s email chain and if you can’t make the meeting on Sunday at Trish’s home or the DOGGR meeting on Monday you can write DOGGR a respectful, thoughtful,  letter giving them at least one very good reason why you don’t think the exemption is a good idea. Make it personal. It’s all good.  It only takes one. And yours could be the one in a million that will make the difference.  We don’t have to be expert writers or speakers, or know all the facts or data or laws. Leave all that to the experts (and they will be there. thank you CBD).

We do need to not be afraid to speak up and out on our right to be safe and secure in our surroundings and do whatever it takes to keep it that way.  Lets do this.

Here is DOGGR’s contact info if you can’t make the meeting in person.

Public comments on this project must be submitted no later than 8:00 P.M., on  September 21, 2015

Email:  ATTN: Aquifer Exemption in the Subject box.

Natalie’s email

Natalie Beller <>

for Sunday meeting and email chain.

Mondays SEPT 21 DOGGR HEARING:  Rally at 3pm!!!  Save our Ground water. NO exemptions.

San Luis Obispo September 21, 2015 4pm-7pm
Courtyard Marriot
1605 Calle Joaquin Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405



Jeanne Blackwell
SLO Clean
“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.” Eric Hoffer

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