E&B Natural Resources, located at
But last week,
The oil field itself has been in operation since the 1960s, although it has changed ownership several times. E&B, which took over in 2007, applied for a conditional use permit for a 10 year-period after its permits expired in January. The drilling operation produces about 30 barrels of oil a day in the rural area east of
Although the Alameda East County
Residents and other environmentalists said they worried that the oil fields have posed a danger to the county and local residents, and puts groundwater at risk of contamination. Officials at agencies such as the
“One speaker said, ‘Water is more valuable than oil.’ That is extremely true. Water is becoming more necessary than oil, in my opinion. It gets you thinking,” Haggerty said.
He also said he was compelled to vote against granting the permits after listening to his constituents. The hearing on the subject lasted more than three hours; speakers packed the meeting and spoke for more than two hours. Haggerty said at the meeting when one of the speakers asked if E&B could guarantee there wouldn’t be a problem, no one said yes.
He and other supervisors also said that they believed this would end up in court.
E&B has a history of violations at its
But E&B Vice President of Regulatory Affairs,
E&B also agreed to a settlement with the
Last year, the company asked for federal permission to expand the aquifer exemption area where the driller is permitted to dispose of oily wastewater from oil extraction. Since its use permit was denied at the county level to operate, it will likely have to drop the application at the federal level.
Oil drillers such as E&B typically pull up a mix of oil and water from underground geological formations, and then extract the oil and put the water back underground. The process that E&B uses is called “water flooding,” not fracking, which
“The board of supervisors vote shows that
He said residents should be proud of their county officials, taking a step closer to that future.
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