Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ridley-Thomas Urges Review of Community Standards District Ordinance Regulating Oil Drilling in Baldwin Hills Area





                                        Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

                                                                                           L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District




July 28, 2009                                                                                                                               Contact:      Aurelio Rojas 213-974-2222


Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Urges Review of Community Standards

District Ordinance Regulating Oil Drilling in Baldwin Hills Area



LOS ANGELES –  Responding to concerns raised by residents near the Baldwin Hills oil field, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion today calling on County officials to consider amending the ordinance that regulates drilling at the site.


The proposal,  scheduled to come before the Board of Supervisors next week, calls for looking into the possibility of revising the number of new wells allowed per year, imposing controls regarding the abandonment of wells and consideration and establishing an end date for drilling.


“Over the past two years, numerous stakeholders have raised concerns about the sufficiency of land use regulation and the protection of the safety and welfare of the surrounding community,” the Supervisor said in his motion.


Despite the regulations imposed last year by the Baldwin Hills Community Standards District (CSD), the Supervisor said, “concerns remain regarding potential health impacts, the aesthetics of the oil field, and the number of new, allowable wells.”


He noted these concerns have been raised in four pending lawsuits which challenge the approval of the CSD and its related environmental impact report.


The Supervisor’s motion directs the acting director of the Department of Regional Planning to initiate a study that could include "enhancements or modifications of regulations for the benefit of the community related to aesthetics, the intensity of drilling at the site and health impacts."


Upon completion of the study, the acting director would provide preliminary recommendations to the Multiple-Agency Coordination Committee and the Community Advisory Panel for review and comment, and convene a public hearing before the Regional Planning Commission to consider possible amendments to the CSD.


 The Planning Commission also would make a recommendation to the Board regarding possible amendments or modifications to the CSD.


 “In light of the continuing concerns raised by the community, a zoning ordinance that regulates the long-term use of oil extraction on this land should ensure that the county prioritizes the health, safety and well-being of the community,” the Supervisor said.


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