Pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (Pavley 2013), the California Natural Resources Agency commissioned the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to conduct an independent scientific assessment of well stimulation treatments, including hydraulic fracturing, in California. Acentech was hired to complete the noise and vibration portions of the Environmental Impact Report.
The EIR focuses on the physical acts that are associated with hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, and acid matrix stimulation as they apply to both existing and future oil and gas wells within the State. The physical activities associated with these stimulation treatments are analyzed with consideration of the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR’s) implementation of the proposed permanent regulations for well stimulation.
Acentech compared the environmental advantages and disadvantages of the project and the following 6 alternatives:
Alt 1: No Future Well Stimulation Practices Alternative
Alt 2: No Future Well Stimulation Practices Outside of Existing Oil and Gas Field Boundaries
Alt 3: Well Pad Consolidation Alternative
Alt 4: Urbanized Area Protection Alternative
Alt 5: Active Fault Zone Restrictions Alternative
Alt 6: No Project Alternative – No mitigation measures would be implemented.
Impacts in twenty-three issue areas were evaluated and the alternatives were ranked based upon the level of potential impact. Each alternative was analyzed to determine if it would result in a significant and unmitigable impact (Class I); significant but can be mitigated to a less than significant level (Class II), or adverse but less than significant (Class III). The Project and alternatives were compared at a programmatic level over all six study regions, at the Inglewood Oil and Gas Field, and at a project level at the Wilmington Oil and Gas Field and the Sespe Oil and Gas Field.