The Los Angeles County ordinance regulating the oil field in the Baldwin Hills includes a provision requiring 5 year reviews to determine if modifications should be made. Since we are approaching the fifth anniversary of the ordinance, the County is now beginning the review process.
The first step is to solicit community input as to what works and does not work in the current ordinance, and whether new provisions should be added or existing provisions removed or modified. There are several opportunities for residents to provide input on these matters.
First, you can attend the May 23, 2013 meeting of the Community Advisory Panel (CAP), which will be primarily devoted to this topic. Suggestions made at this meeting will be recorded by the County and will be considered as part of the review process. This meeting will be held at the community center at Kenneth Hahn Park at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 23. A copy of the official notice of the meeting can be found online at planning.lacounty.gov/baldwinhills/cap
Second, you can submit your comments on a survey form that has been prepared by the County. This survey can be accessed online by going to planning.lacounty.gov/baldwinhills/csd and clicking on the “Go to Survey” link. If you would prefer not to complete the survey online, you can print out the PDF copy of the survey, complete it by hand, and send it to Rena Kambara, County Planner, 320 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Finally, you can submit comments by sending an email to Rena at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this scoping phase of the process, the goal is to generate an extensive list of potential changes, so that the County can consider the widest possible range of options and decide upon the ones that will have the most beneficial impact. During a very brief discussion of this topic at the April CAP meeting, some of the potential issues mentioned were:
- Add provisions regulating fracking at the field
- Increase the amount of insurance and bonds that PXP is required to maintain
- Expand the role of the CAP from simply disseminating information
- Provide remedies for homeowners who claim their homes have been damaged by oil field drilling operations
The above list will hopefully give some idea of the potential changes that could be considered. However, everyone hopes that the process will generate a much more extensive list.
So, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please pass them on to the County via any of the methods described above.
PXP has submitted an Amended 2013 Drilling Plan to the County for approval. The County is now accepting public comments, but the comment period is quite short, ending on December 20. The essential purpose of the Amended Plan is to increase the number of wells PXP can drill in 2013, with the amendment allowing them to drill 53, the maximum number allowed by the CSD and the Settlement Agreement.
If you want to read the Amended Plan, it can be found at http://www.inglewoodoilfield.com/plans, where it is currently at the top of the list labeled “Plans Reviewed by CAP.” (The label is somewhat misleading, since the Amended Plan has not been reviewed by the CAP. While it was mentioned by PXP at our last meeting, it was not made available until after the meeting, and comments must be submitted well before the next CAP meeting.)
We encourage you to submit your comments regarding this Amended Plan. (Only four comment letters were submitted for for the original 2013 Drilling Plan last fall, and aside from the letter written by our own John Kuechle, none of them came from Culver Crest.)
As you may have heard, PXP is being acquired by the much larger Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold, Inc. While shareholder approvals still remain to be obtained, the current thinking is that the merger will close this June. We were told at the CAP meeting that this will not change the management team responsible for the Baldwin Hills oil field.
The Los Angeles County Community Standards District for Baldwin Hills (the ordinance that regulates the oil field) includes the following provision.
A community advisory panel shall be established by the director [of regional planning] to foster communication about ongoing operations at the oil field and to allow the community representatives to provide input to the county and the operator.
The Community Advisory Panel (CAP) consists of 21 members, including representatives of Los Angeles County, PXP (the operator of the oil field), two of the landowners (who lease the field to PXP and receive oil royalties), and representatives from various neighborhood organizations (who are appointed to the CAP by the Los Angeles County Director of Regional Planning). The representative from Culver Crest (who also serves as co-chair of the CAP) is John Kuechle.
More information about the CAP, including a complete list of members, and agendas for past and upcoming meetings, can be found online at planning.lacounty.gov/baldwinhills/cap
This week’s CAP meeting (The Baldwin Hills Oil Fields Community Advisory Panel) is on Thursday August 23, 2012. There are two important items up for discussion that should be of interest to all who have been closely involved in the CSD with PXP Oil:
- The annual review of how PXP is doing in complying with the settlement agreement
- A discussion of the proposed work plan for an air monitoring study that will be made of the Baldwin Hills
The meeting is open to the public, and is at 7pm on Thursday August 23, 2012 at the Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area Community Center.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved the contract for the Air Quality Monitoring Study that is part of the Baldwin Hills Oil Fields CSD. This was one of the big items that we pushed to have included in the CSD, to get a scientific reading of what’s actually being emitted into the air by PXP Oil’s operations. However, it is not a substitute for calling the AQMD at 1-800-CUT-SMOG when you detect an odor that you think may be coming from the oil fields.
UPDATE: On the agenda of the next CAP meeting (June 28, 2012 at Ken Hahn State Park Park Recreation Center) is an update of this air quality monitoring study.
The County ordinance that adopted the CAP (Community Advisory Panel) also included a provision requiring the County to do a health survey of the area surrounding the oil field. Our CCNA president Khin Khin Gyi was a member of the subcommittee that worked with the County’s Public Health department on developing the survey.
The survey has finally been completed, and will be the principal agenda item for the July 26 CAP meeting.