On Friday, June 20, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a public resources “trailer bill:”  Senate Bill 681 (“SB 681”).  Section 5 of the Bill extends the implementation deadline for the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”).  The initial implementation date was set at January 1, 2015.  Under the new law, the permanent well stimulation regulations go into effect on July 1, 2015.  SB 861 extends only the implementation date, not the date for finalization of regulations.  DOGGR must finalize and publish the permanent regulations on or before January 1, 2015.

The original regulation deadlines were created by Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”), which required DOGGR to establish interim regulations for all well stimulation treatments.  SB 4 also established requirements for testing, monitoring, public notice, and permitting.  The interim regulations will remain in effect until the permanent regulations are implemented on July 1, 2015.

DOGGR is accepting public comments for the proposed permanent regulations until July 28, 2014.  Comments may be submitted through email, fax, or regular mail.  Additionally, public comment hearings are being held in various locations across the state.  The schedule is available here.

By Mike Mills (mnmills@stoel.com) and Shannon Morrissey.  Ms. Morrissey is a Law Clerk/Summer Associate with Stoel Rives LLP and is not currently licensed to practice law in California.