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West Pico Drill Site…update

The West Pico drill site on Pico Boulevard (between Oakhurst and Doheny) is not far from the homes that make up Cheviot Hills Home Owners’ Association. The drill site has 57 oil wells.

It has been reported that twenty-four (24) major oil well projects have been executed at the West Pico drill site without applications to the Zoning Administrator for legally required project reviews and environmental clearance under CEQA. It also has been reported that there have been additional safety and health violations.

In 2019, a local Pico-Robertson area environmental group, Neighbors for a Safe Environment (NASE), forced the City to honor a 2001 settlement agreement that requires cyclical five-year reviews by the Zoning Administrator, which the City allegedly had violated for a decade.

In 2020-21, the Zoning Administrator finally held a review. The evidence of potential illegal oil well projects was presented to the Zoning Administrator. The oil company that operates the West Pico site admitted to this record of unapproved major projects and did so in writing.

Nevertheless, on June 2, 2021, the Zoning Administrator issued a ruling that declares oil well drilling at the West Pico site can stand unaltered, unviewed, and unremedied:

https://planning.lacity.org/pdiscaseinfo/document/NzQxNw0/1823a02c-5d95-4003-95c4-258347c32f18/pdd

Neighbors for a Safe Environment (NASE) has filed an appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s ruling. That appeal can be found here (appeal). The West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission will hear the appeal on Wednesday, August 18 at 4:30 p.m. The public can attend via Zoom or telephone. Here is the public notice for the hearing:

https://planning.lacity.org/dcpapi/meetings/document/69965

You are invited to please support the NASE appeal by signing an online petition.
Click here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-illegal-oil-drilling-in-the-city-of-los-angeles-2/

New addition: 2021 letter from NASE’s attorney Amy Minteer to the West Los Angeles Are Planning Commission requesting that they “reconsider” their August 18 ruling on NASE’s appeal and reopen the case. (reconsider letter)

Addition 9/7/21: listen to Council Member Koretz’s Land Use Deputy Daniel Skolnick’s presentation of Mr. Koretz’s appeal to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission hearing on August 18, 2021. (clip)

Addition 9/9/21: Copy of NASE’s Appeal to City Council on the CEQA Exemption (NASEappeal)

Addition 1/3/2022: Violation notices for the December 11, 2021 oil spill at the West Pico Drill Site.

Cal GEM 2021-12-14 _NOV_Beverly Hills _PCEC _Spill 2021-12-11.pdf (here)

CalGEM report 2021-12-13_West Pico Drill site release field memo – reduced size.pdf (here)

LAFD CUPA inspection report on spill 12-15-21 pacificCoastEnergySpill12.21.pdf (here)

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