The answer: We don’t know, because oilfield operators are blatantly defying the law by not reporting it – and the state hasn’t levied so much as a single fine against noncompliant companies.
How much water does California’s oil and gas industry actually use? We still don’t know, despite a 2014 law signed by Governor Jerry Brown that went into effect this year requiring companies to report on all water produced, used and disposed of by oilfield operations.
Oil and gas regulators with California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) missed the first reporting deadline, April 30, claiming they had simply received too much data to process in time. But now we know there was probably another reason: hundreds of companies had flat out refused to obey the law.
In fact, more than 100 companies still refuse to comply with the water reporting requirements altogether.
DOGGR extended the filing date for the first quarter of 2015 to June 1, and has now, at long last, released the first report on oilfield water usage and disposal — though more than 100 companies still haven’t submitted any data to the state despite the extension.
According to the report, just 166 oilfield operators filed their quarterly water report by June 1, prompting DOGGR to issue 289 Notices of Violation to companies that failed to meet the extended deadline. Some 146 companies complied with the violation notices and did submit their water usage data, but 104 operators remain out of compliance and at risk of civil penalties.
No fines or other penalties have been levied against noncompliant companies so far.
Read the rest of the article at DeSmogBlog’s website.