Supporting Harsher Penalties Against Environmental Polluters
Posted by Councilmember Englander on March 29, 2016 at 1:32 PM
On Tuesday, I submitted a resolution to support California State Assembly Bill 2756 (Thurmond and Williams) which, if passed, will enhance Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) authority to ensure that penalties levied on oil and gas companies reflect the severity of the violation.
State regulators have issued a $75,000 civil penalty order to The Termo Company for illegally venting natural gas in the Aliso Canyon field. DOGGR levied $25,000 penalties for each of three violations, noting that not only did the gas venting appear to be intentional, but also that the operator tried to hide it. Last week, DOGGR issued a $75,000 civil penalty order to The Termo Company of Long Beach for illegally venting natural gas in the Aliso Canyon field.
Current law caps the penalty amount the Division can assess at $25,000 per violation. AB 2756 will allow DOGGR to impose stricter financial penalties that reflect the impact these violations have on our environment and communities.
Additionally the bill includes provisions to allow up to half of penalty revenue to be spent on environmentally beneficial projects in impacted communities and authorizes DOGGR to immediately shut-in injection projects that pose a risk to groundwater. This will strengthen DOGGR’s investigative authorities to collect information about proposed and ongoing oil and gas projects, and secure witness testimony during investigative hearings.
Click here to view full motion.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
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