A Compliance Handbook for SB 4 - California's Well Stimulation Permitting Law

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SB 4 regulates well stimulation treatments in California, including hydraulic fracturing and acid well stimulation. The law creates a permitting system, builds in water testing and monitoring components for surface and groundwater near the treatment site, and it places obligations on state agencies to study any environmental effects of well stimulation treatment. SB 4 also obligates the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources ("DOGGR") to finalize and implement permanent regulations, which are due by January 1, 2015, and gives DOGGR emergency regulatory authority to issue regulations for the 2014 interim period. Stoel attorneys Michael Mills, Tom Henry, and Chelsea Huffman have prepared a primer to aid operators in their efforts to comply with SB 4 and its new permitting scheme. This guide will explain the difference between operator compliance in 2014 and 2015, at what point certain disclosures are required, and the nuances of property owner and tenant notification requirements.

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Michael N. Mills
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