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Posted on June 12 at 11:32 a.m.
Much of what "Eckermann" says is true. Two key points, however: (1) almost every (quite possibly EVERY) EIR prepared for an oil extraction project rates the risk of an oil spill, or "risk of upset," to be a Class I significant and unavoidable impact; it would be very tricky for this EIR to say anything otherwise, what with the seal haul out and other sensitive resources nearby which could be affected by even a minor incident; and (2) Venoco would have no grounds for a "taking" claim in this instance, because its property is not currently zoned to accommodate onshore-to-offshore drilling; a critical component of the Project is a "zone text amendment," which is a legislative act. Therefore, even without an EIR which acknowledges any Class I impacts, the City Council would be well within its rights to deny the Project.
On Revised Carpinteria Oil Proposal Unveiled
Posted on May 13 at 12:26 p.m.
The article is about Supervisor Adam's recent attempt to re/de-prioritize enforcement of the Petroleum Code. Enforcement of the Petroleum Code is a revenue neutral activity funded by fines levied against offenders. I/we are not talking about "the entire cost of Energy Department staff" who work on a number of other projects and enforcement activities. Cutting enforcement activities under the Petroleum Code will not lead to actual cost cutting.
On Adam Tries, Fails to Shrink Energy Division
Posted on May 11 at 12:45 p.m.
It's pretty simple, really. The FTEs (full time equivalents) are covered by the fees levied at the time (or after) enforcement. In other words, the fees are directly paying the salaries of those public employees tasked with inspection, enforcement, etc. - implementing the Petroleum Code. I don't claim to be an expert on County government, although I am an attorney who regularly interfaces with P&D and the Energy Division; so I have a passing familiarity.... I would refer you to the heads of those entities for the full story. Budget hearings are coming up soon!
Posted on May 9 at 1:10 p.m.
Enforcement of the Petroleum Code is a relatively "revenue neutral" activity. Most if not all costs are ultimately borne by industry violators and not the County's general fund. If cost cutting is the goal, it would be wise to look elsewhere.
Posted on November 1 at 5:26 p.m.
Beach Fan, et al.: I work for the Environmental Defense Center. We are not opposed to (or blocking) the project. Near its outset, we proposed several mitigation measures to protect wildlife species from construction impacts and project operations. These mitigation measures/conditions were wrapped into the project plans prior to approval, and we had/have no remaining objections to the project moving forward. The lawsuits mentioned in Ethan's article were filed by neighboring landowners. Thumbs up for wind power!
On Dude, Where's My Wind Farm?
Posted on February 22 at 1:28 p.m.
The City of Goleta’s 2010 Housing Element states: “Currently zoned sites for residential development have a total unit potential for 1,645 units, which is far above the remaining [Regional Housing Needs Allocation] need of 938 units.”
As identified in the Staff Report for Bishop Ranch (September 2011): “[T]he community is facing more development proposals at one point in time than it has in the past two decades. . . . The adopted Housing Element provides for and exceeds the [RHNA] requirements under State law. Additional inventory in this context is not needed at this time.”
On Fighting Development at the Ballot Box
Posted on July 28 at 1:18 p.m.
surfrmom: I believe that there is an overlay ("security" or "defense?") on the western boundary of the Ranch, adjacent to the base, which prohibits residential development on that portion of the property.
On Bixby Being Bad?
Posted on May 13 at 12:54 p.m.
great letter, Vera!
On Frack This
Posted on May 11 at 12:04 p.m.
Quick clarification: The federal Clean Water Act does not regulate (non-point) sources of agricultural pollution/run-off. Rather, ag operations are regulated in California by the state Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, which mandates that anyone discharging or threatening to discharge waste materials (including fertilizer & sediment run-off, etc.) into waters of the state must file a Report of Waste Discharge with the appropriate Regional Board. The Regional Board must then prescribe Waste Discharge Requirements (basically, individual discharge permits), which include provisions for individual, on-site water quality monitoring, etc. Ag is currently regulated under a "waiver" provision of the Porter-Cologne Act, which allows the Regional Board to relax some regulatory standards, but which still requires publicly reported water quality monitoring and other conditions of operation. For more information, please contact Channelkeeper or the Environmental Defense Center. Sincerely, Nathan Alley, Staff Attorney, EDC
On Of Lawsuits, Regulations, and Agriculture
Posted on March 31 at 2:18 p.m.
A complicated issue made even more difficult by the recalcitrance of many in the regulated community. We were supposed to have a revised waiver by July 2009. Unfortunately, the existing waiver expires today (March 31), thereby exposing every ag discharger on the Central Coast to serious legal liability, starting tomorrow (April 1). Only wish it were a joke.... Time to start cleaning up the water - immediately.
On Aggie Agitation