Oil Wells in Neighborhoods

From: Steven Young

To: Syd.Sotoodeh@dcd.cccounty.us

Wed, May 27 at 2:33 PM

Dear Concerned Public Service Leader:

Did you know we have people in neighborhoods within 1000 (some say 700) feet of a proposed oil drilling on agriculturally zoned lands? The county was supposedly intending to issue, pending public comment, a “negative declaration,” asserting there were no issues with such oil and gas drilling.

Isn’t it crazy to think somebody actually thought it might have absolutely no negative impacts on public health? Darn good thing the opportunity for public comments was extended. Now there’s virtually no realistic chance of approval, right? You didn’t just extend the public outcry deadline for the sake of appearance, of course not . . . your sincere concern for the people is reassuring and most appreciated. I know you wouldn't want folks in our community exposed to dust, pollution, and unknown toxins.

No doubt you would agree: we can't expose anyone (especially a child) with an underlying health risk such as asthma. Just curious: what might your reaction be if a person actually died during such an invasive drilling? Would you take some responsibility or probably just say something like, “other factors contributed, we just don't know . . .” ? And just to confirm: are you aware of AB 345, in the state legislature, that originally called for a 2,500-foot setback?

Here’s a quote: "Studies link proximity to oil and gas wells to increased risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, pre-term births, and high-risk pregnancies, and cancer . . . oil and gas extraction produces air toxics, including volatile organic compounds like benzene and formaldehyde, fine and ultra-fine particulate matter, and hydrogen sulfide. Other risks include water contamination, noise pollution, spills of toxic chemicals, and explosions." This comes from a report from the California Council on Science and Technology recommending a health and safety buffer zone between sensitive sites and oil and gas wells.

Research shows that a 2,500-foot setback from drilling sites is on the lower end of the range of distances which could reduce the harmful health and quality of life impacts from toxic emissions and exposures. It's estimated that construction of the exploratory wells would continue 24 hours per day for 60 consecutive days. Building a permanent well would take another 30 days, that when finished, would operate 12 hours a day. Truly horrible and perhaps criminal. Pretend you live there, and perhaps your conscience will lead you to an unexpected place.

Steven Young