The Department of Conservation is hosting a series of workshops to discuss the practice of hydraulic fracturing for petroleum production stimulation, commonly called “fracking.” One of the meetings will be held Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting room, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway.

These workshops are being held to get public input as part of a process aimed at developing regulations governing hydraulic fracturing.

Previous workshops have been held in Bakersfield, Ventura, Culver City, Long Beach and Salinas.

The final workshop will be in Sacramento on July 25. More information can be found online at www.conservation.ca.gov/dog/general_information/Pages/HFWorkshop.aspx.

The workshop will begin with an overview of oil and gas production in California, including discussion of the state’s geologic formations where oil and natural gas are found. Existing well construction requirements and what those regulations protect against will follow. The overview presentation will also focus on technical, non-policy aspects of hydraulic fracturing.

Following the overview, the department will take public comment. The workshops are intended as an information-gathering process to advise the Department of Conservation about specific public concerns that regulations could address.

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At the conclusion of the workshop series, the department intends to use input from the public and from an independent scientific study of the practice of hydraulic fracturing to prepare draft regulations for circulation to interested and affected parties.

Additional public comment on draft regulations will also be accepted as a part of the Rulemaking Process, which the department aims to start in the late summer or early fall.

Any comments regarding the workshops, can be sent via email to: comments@conservation.ca.gov.

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