The Latest in the Monitoring, Regulations, Implementation, and Legislation related to Groundwater Protection from Oil and Gas Activities
Monitoring Techniques for Compliance, Aquifer Exemptions, Underground Injection Control, Latest Scientific Findings, Produced Water Treatment, Reuse, and Disposal, and more!
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GRA has organized a follow up symposium to our highly successful February 2015 event in Long Beach, CA on the wise protection and monitoring of California groundwater near oil and gas exploration sites. At the time of that event, implementation of Senate Bill SB-4 (2013-Pavley) related to new oil and gas well stimulation requirements was just getting started, and required among other things the State Water Resources Control Board to develop model criteria for groundwater monitoring.
These criteria were adopted by the Water Board on July 7, 2015 after receiving input from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, stakeholder groups including the oil industry, groundwater industry, agriculture, environmental justice, local government officials and other groups, and the general public. The monitoring criteria have three main components, including:
- Area-Specific groundwater monitoring near stimulation activities required by operators;
- Requirements for Designated Contactor Sampling and Testing; and
- Regional scale groundwater monitoring to be implemented by the State Water Board
Details of these new requirements along with case studies of some of the first plans to be drafted and submitted to the Water Board, and the feedback received, will be presented at the Symposium. Actual groundwater monitoring strategies and ways to address the complicated issues such as determining the base of fresh water and constructing multiple depth monitoring wells will be covered.
In addition, there has been significant activity related to the State’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program and the issues of exempt aquifers versus non-exempt aquifers that will be covered at the symposium.
Injection wells and ponds/pits have been the waste disposal options of choice for many oil and gas operators for decades, but recently this practice has come into question where the disposal may be going into non-exempt aquifers, and numerous injection wells and disposal ponds are being investigated and shut down.
The “California Oil, Gas, and Groundwater 2016 Symposium” is intended to provide the latest information on the successful applications and/or problems encountered with the current requirements for groundwater monitoring and protection related to oil and gas activities in California. It is intended for petroleum and groundwater geologists, engineers, policy-makers, regulators, legislators, academia, and other interested parties to learn about current practices, operations, and requirements and the successes and challenges that create the context for the relationship between petroleum production and groundwater management in California.
Likely Topics to Be Covered Include:
- Latest Regulatory Requirements and Activity related to oil, gas, and groundwater.
- Impact of current low oil prices and California Drought on exploration.
- Statewide Groundwater Monitoring Program Results near Oil and Gas Fields.
- Groundwater Management Plans and Data Collection under SB4 and SWRCB Rules:
- Case studies of successful plans
- Challenges getting plans approved
- What’s working / what’s not
- How to find base of fresh water
- Where do I find data for my plans?
- Practical Implementation of plans
- Alternatives to standard methods
- Underground Injection Control and Aquifer Exemptions. What is the process, who makes the decisions, and what are the rules? Is usable groundwater at risk?
- Produced Water Reuse, Recycling, and Disposal. Best methods.
- Oil Field Water Management
- Source water for well stimulation
- Treatment technologies
- Reuse case studies
- Re-use on agricultural fields or other uses (groundwater recharge?)
- Pits/Ponds/Fluid containment issues and monitoring.
- Technologies – groundwater monitoring program tools and methods. Laboratory analyses for baseline and long term monitoring. Alternative methods to monitoring wells.
- Communications with the public
- Oil industry on their practices
- Regulators to the public
- Sharing of information between oil and groundwater industries
- Oil fields and groundwater in the California Central Valley
- Primer on where they are, where they overlap, depths, risks, etc.
- New bills being considered for legislative fixes to SB4, UIC, or new legislation.
- Environmental compliance under CEQA for oil/gas well stimulation in areas of usable groundwater
- And more!