In California, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has adopted comprehensive notification and reporting requirements to provide information needed to assess air quality and health effects from oil and gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, in the region. SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Rule 1148.2 applies to any operator who is conducting oil or gas well drilling, well completion, well reworks, or well production stimulation and treatment activities, including acidizing, gravel packing, hydraulic fracturing, or any combination of treatments.

  • Notification of oil and gas drilling activities. No more than 10 days and no less than 24 hours prior to any of these activities, the operator must notify SCAQMD of the following: (a) the well identification and owner/operator information; (b) the location of the subject well and the nearest sensitive receptor (i.e., private homes, apartments, schools, or health care facilities) within 1,500 feet; and (c) the expected start date and identification of general activities to be conducted. This information will be posted on the SCAQMD website within 24 hours of receipt.
  • Emissions reporting. Within 60 days of completing any drilling activity, the operator must electronically report to SCAQMD the following: (a) the well identification and owner/operator information; (b) combustion equipment (>50 hp) used during the activities; (c) type and amount of dry materials used for well drilling, well completion, and well reworks (including the method of how the dry materials were mixed and any air pollution control techniques, devices, and/or practices used to control fugitive emissions or odors); and (d) the volume of well completion fluids used and volume of flowback fluid recovered (including any method(s) used for collecting, storing, conditioning, separating, and/or treating drilling fluids and/or flowback fluids as they return to the surface, any air pollution controls; and final disposition of recovered drilling fluids and flowback fluids).
  • Identification of chemicals by supplier.

– For all non-trade secret chemicals, within 10 days of delivery, the chemical supplier must provide the operator with (a) the name and chemical abstract service number of each chemical ingredient; and (b) the purpose, amount, maximum concentration and identification if air toxic.

– For all trade secret chemicals, within 10 days of delivery, the chemical supplier must provide the operator with (a) the identification of chemical information claimed to be a trade secret; and (b) the basis for the claim of trade secret, chemical family, and identification of whether a chemical family is an air toxic.

– Within 60 days of delivery, for trade secret chemicals, the supplier must electronically notify SCAQMD of the following: (a) the operator, name and the API number of the well where the chemicals are to be used; (b) the name and chemical abstract service number of each chemical ingredient, purpose of chemical, amount, maximum concentration and identification if air toxic; and (c) basis for claim of trade secret, chemical family, and identification if ingredient within chemical family is an air toxic.

  • Chemical use reporting required from operator. Within 60 days of the last activity, the operator must electronically report to SCAQMD the following: (a) the operator, name, and the API number of the well where the chemicals were used; (b) for non-trade secret chemicals, the name and chemical abstract service number of each chemical ingredient, purpose of chemical, amount, maximum concentration and identification if air toxic; and (c) for trade secret chemicals, the identification of chemical information claimed to be a trade secret and the basis for the claim of trade secret, chemical family, and identification of whether a chemical family is an air toxic.
  • SCAQMD website posting of chemicals. For each event, the SCAQMD website will identify the operator name, well name and API number, location, and date of activity. For non-trade secret chemicals, the website will show the name and chemical abstract service number of each ingredient, purpose of chemical, amount, maximum concentration, and identification if an air toxic. For trade secret chemicals, the website will show the chemical family and identification of the ingredient if the ingredient within the chemical family is an air toxic.

These rules were passed by the SCAQMD Board on April 5, 2013 and will go into effect in 60 days. Within six months of collecting the first emissions report, the Board will convene a working group to discuss the results of the emissions and chemical use data. Within two years, the SCAQMD staff must report on the status of the data collection and notification requirements to determine whether new or additional rules are needed.


This post was prepared by Barclay Nicholson (bnicholson@fulbright.com or 713 651 3662) from Fulbright’s Energy Practice and  Heather Corken (hcorken@fulbright.com or 713 651 8386) from Fulbright’s Environmental Law Practice Group.