Today, July 30, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”). CBD claims, among other things, that DOGGR failed to comply with Senate Bill 4 (“SB 4”) by releasing its Final EIR regarding oil and gas well stimulation treatment prior to the release of a state-mandated Independent Study.
This lawsuit strikes us as more of a shout out to the Legislature and the Governor to highlight CBD’s ongoing disappointment with SB 4, more than anything else. CBD mistakenly construes SB 4 to require DOGGR to analyze and incorporate the Independent Study’s findings into its Final EIR, when no such requirement is found in the law. Indeed, by its terms, SB 4 only requires DOGGR to comply with the following requirements relating to the EIR:
- The EIR shall be certified by the division as the lead agency, no later than July 1, 2015.
- The EIR shall address the issue of activities that may be conducted as defined in Section 3157 and that may occur at oil wells in the state existing prior to, and after, the effective date of this section.
- The EIR shall not conflict with an EIR conducted by a local lead agency that is certified on or before July 1, 2015.
(Pub. Resources Code, § 3161.) The Legislature, not the Sacramento County Superior Court, is the proper body to which this additional request should be made, as there is currently no law mandating it.
Continue Reading Activists ask Court to Scrap EIR and Stop Fracking