Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Tomorrow night, at 6:00 p.m. (that’s Thursday, November 1st), a public workshop will be held in the San Benito County Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, located at 481 Fourth Street in Hollister. The purpose of the workshop is to discuss a proposed oil and gas drilling ordinance for San Benito County. The ordinance is aimed at providing some rules to govern any “fracking” operations that may be proposed in San Benito County. “Fracking” is short for “hydraulic fracturing,” a new technique of oil and gas recovery that is spreading rapidly, and without much effective regulation.
The draft ordinance that will be discussed tomorrow night was presented to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors on October 16th. Getting feedback from the public, at the workshop tomorrow, is the next step towards adoption. After the workshop, a committee will seek to hammer out the final details of the ordinance, for subsequent Board consideration and approval. The committee will consist of representatives from the county, the oil industry, and Aromas Cares About Our Environment, or ACE, a community group that has been pushing this issue.
The state of California currently has no regulations directly dealing with “fracking,” so the proposed San Benito County ordinance could end up being a model. A link to more information, including the ordinance draft, can be found at kusp.org/landuse. I hope interested KUSP listeners will be able to attend tomorrow night.