CFROG Newsletter Archive

January 10, 2017 - Un-permitted exploding oil storage tank puts water at risk


State Water Board Investigates Impact to Water from exploding oil tank

Oil tank that exploded in Upper Ojai was un-permitted.

Upper Ojai, CA –  An un-permitted crude oil tank that exploded in Upper Ojai on Aug. 5, 2016 caused a discharge of crude oil and water, which may have impacted nearby surface and/or groundwater sources, including Sisar Creek. The operator, Silver Exploration Company (Silver X), failed to obtain the proper permits from the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) prior to installing the tank.

“The Regional Board is concerned that the water quality in the area may have been impacted or potentially impacted by the unauthorized release. The tank explosion has caused petroleum and Buckeye Platinum residue to be deposited where it may impact groundwater or Sisar Creek, a water of the State,” states the Investigative Order dated Jan. 9 issued by the Water Board. The Water Board is the “public agency with primary responsibility for the protection of ground and surface water quality within the major portions of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.” 

“This investigative order and report show an oil and gas operator cutting corners and that's why the public needs our local agencies to be vigilant in protecting our water,” said Kimberly Rivers, Executive Director of CFROG. “What good are laws and clean up requirements if they are not fully enforced? The report reveals the exploding tank had no permit, Best Management Practices were not being used and the tank did not have a sensor that could have prevented the explosion. We hope our regulators wake up and see what many neighborhoods have known for decades, that some oil and gas operators don't follow the rules.”


CLICK HERE TO VIEW Water Board Investigative Order and attached documents

On Aug. 5, 2016 in Upper Ojai an un-permitted crude oil storage tank exploded, and according to the California State Water Resources Control board the explosion led to a discharge of oil and water that may have impacted groundwater and surface water in the area, including Sisar Creek. 


September 23, 2016 - Senator Fran Pavley to be recognized at CFROG event as Environmental Watchdog


On Friday, September 30 at the Rhythm & Soul for CFROG fundraising event Senator Fran Pavley (Dist. 27) will be recognized as the CFROG 2016 Environmental Watchdog. She is terming out of office after 16 years of service in the State Assembly and Senate. 




August 30, 2016 - VC Air Pollution Control Hearing Board Puts Crimson on Notice to Expect Subpoena

August 29, 2016 - the Ventura County Air Pollution Control Hearing Board voted unanimously to issue a subpoena to Crimson Pipeline requiring them to report why their pipelines have been shut down - if they are not turned back on prior to the next meeting in November. Pipelines in the South Mountain area - Santa Paula, Fillmore, Piru, Moorpark - were shut down for "unschedule maintenance." The oil company has had to seek a variance in order to allow trucking of oil because the pipelines are shut down. 

"The APCD hearing board deserves praise for asking serious and informed questions and for the rare and important step of voting unanimously to force the pipeline company to answer questions about why the Santa Paula area pipelines are shut down," said John Brooks, President of CFROG. "Until they are operating again the pollution from up to 20 tanker trucks per day will spew into our air." 


 June 24, 2016 - County was warned about old pipelines - Hall Canyon Oil Spill

On June 23 a pipeline leak caused tens of thousands of gallons to flow into a creek bed from the Ventura hillsides. This is light crude and highly flammable. 

"The crude oil originating in the Aera Energy LLC Ventura Oil Field is light and highly volatile. This spill could have been a major fire had it ignited.  This is all the more reason for greater public awareness of the hazardous high-pressure pipeline below the City of Ventura." - Anneliese Anderle, CFROG Advisory Board Members, Petroleum Engineer and retired Senior Engineer for California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. 


June 14, 2016 - CFROG working to protect and strengthen environmental protections of the Ojai Valley Area Plan

General Plan Update comes to Oak View

Monday, July 18, at 7 p.m., the Ventura County Planning Department will host a workshop at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View, to receive input from Ojai Valley residents regarding changes to the Ventura County General Plan. Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) is participating in the General Plan update process to preserve and strengthen the Ojai Valley Area Plan to ensure all oil and gas projects are approved with strong public­health, safety and environmental protections. These efforts will have an ongoing impact across the county for oil and gas projects over the next 20 years – the life of the General Plan. 


June 22, 2016 - County sets dangerous new precedent- says oil tanker trucks can make illegal turns.

On June 21 in a three to two vote the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved an oil project in Upper Ojai that includes allowing oil tanker trucks to use a dangerous intersection and violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

June 15, 2016  CFROG Appeals Upper Ojai oil project to Board of Supervisors

Quotes from CFROG on issues in this appeal - 

"The planning staff was trying to change a major safety rule without proof that the risk is gone,” said John Brooks, President of CFROG and Oak View resident. “Thanks to CFROG's appeal, the Board of Supervisors that banned large oil tankers in 1980 for safety, will get a another chance to show that it cares more about protecting drivers on Highway 150 than the profits of a rule breaking oil company."

"The Ojai Valley remains vulnerable to unhealthful air pollution and smog due to topographic features of steep valley walls and air flow patterns,” said Dr. Steve Colome’, an Ojai resident and CFROG Advisory Board member. “To properly evaluate the air pollution potential of projects, Ventura County should not be using circular and convoluted logic to ignore actual emissions."Colome holds a molecular biology degree from Stanford University and a Doctorate of Science from Harvard University. He has served for a decade on the South Coast Air Quality Management District and served on the faculties of UC Los Angeles and UC Irvine. 

For CFROG's Appeal report and other project documents CLICK HERE. 

May 11, 2016 - Bentley Well Project Needs Abandonment Plan

                       CFROG Comments - Bentley Project -Submitted to Ojai City Council & OVMAC

                       Click HERE to view Bentley Project Details


Environmental and Social Equity Groups Challenge Ventura County's Lax Oversight of Oil Industry

CFROG Appeals New Wells in Santa Paula Canyon

Modelo Canyon Project WITHDRAWN

CFROG's Accomplishments: 2013 - 2014

Request for EIR on Reactivation of Oil Operations in Piru's Modelo Canyon

CFROG Gets Action: Oil Pad to be Restored ... Wells Shut Down

CFROG Moves Ahead with New Complaint

CFROG Statement on SB-4

CFROG to Monitor First Ventura County "No Fracking" Agreement