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ABSTRACT: Evaluation, Mitigation, and Environmental Impacts on Energy-Related Development

MANUEL, RICHARD, and FLOYD LEESON, California Division of Oil and Gas, Long Beach, CA

The California Division of Oil and Gas (DOG) is charged with "regulating the drilling, maintenance, operation, and abandonment of all oil and gas wells in California ... for the prevention of damage to life, health, property, and natural resources.- This Division was formed in 1915 and has been involved in these operations since that time.

In the early 1970s, concerns were raised in the Division regarding building construction taking place near former oil-producing areas. Although oil and gas wells were abandoned properly in previous years, these wells may not conform to today's more stringent regulations.

Because of the 1985 methane gas explosion and fire in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles and building safety concerns, new legislation and programs were developed by the DOG.

Legislation was introduced to fund a study of eight urban oil fields, with five fields found to contain hazardous levels of methane gas in the soil. Under additional legislation, cities within these oil fields became eligible to receive state funds to mitigate the methane gas hazards.

The Construction Site Review program was enacted to promote interaction between the local governments and the DOG regarding building construction near oil wells.

The Methane Gas Hazards Reduction Program was established to financially assist eligible jurisdictions with mitigation efforts.

Many former oil-producing areas have been transformed into residential, commercial, and industrial developments. Because of these programs, associated problems due to oil wells and gas accumulations have been properly evaluated and mitigated.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91016©1992 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-EMD Pacific Section Meeting, Sacramento, California, April 27-May 1, 1992 (2009)