California Governor Jerry Brown, preparing the state for development of the largest shale-oil reserves in the U.S., signed into law regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process that has been criticized by environmental groups.
The third-largest oil-producing state will for the first time require permits to use the drilling technique, which injects millions of gallons of chemically treated water underground to break up rock and free trapped oil and natural gas. Energy companies will have to disclose the ingredients in fracking fluid and notify nearby landowners of their plans.
The measure “establishes strong environmental protections and transparency requirements,” the 75-year-old Democrat said. Brown also said he will work with the legislature to adopt clarifying amendments to the measure.
The governor said he will direct the state’s Conservation Department to develop a permitting program that groups permits together based on factors such as known geological conditions and environmental impacts.