Fracking is an oil production technique used in Kern County for decades.
But, as the practice has become popular in other states, groups have raised environmental concerns.
On Tuesday, State Senators discussed new regulations for the practice. Last year, fracking bills were introduced, some wanting minimal regulation and others wanting to ban the practice.
Senators met to discuss a compromise.
Fracking is a process that's become quite controversial.
"there's a growing voice of citizens that care more about the protection of California's precious water, air and communities, than the bottom line of big oil," said Andrew Grinberg, Oil and Gas Program Coordinator, Clean Water Action.
But, what is it? According to experts, it's a water and chemical mix that's pumped deep into the ground to break up the soil and allow oil and gas to flow. In California, fracking has not been regulated any more than normal drilling.
"When it comes to hydraulic fracturing, currently there hasn't been any significant change in the use of hydraulic fracturing," said Tim Kustic, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.
In December, the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, or DOGGR, released proposed fracking regulations.
On Tuesday, the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Water and Environmental Quality, discussed the rules.
"The big question for the hearing today at least in my mind, is the existing or proposed regulatory framework sufficient to regulate fracking with transparency and accountability to ease the public's concerns?" said Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills.
The proposal would require specific reporting at least ten days prior to fracking. It would also require tests prior, during and every month after for five years. And, it would require a list of chemicals not protected by trade secrets. The Senators have two major concerns, will fracking contaminate water and will it cause earthquakes?
DOGGR says if done properly, it will not.
"The process of hydraulic fracturing the well is presently implemented for shale gas recovery, does not pose a high risk for induced felt seismic events," said John Parrish, State Geologist, California Geological Survey.
Fracking has been done in Kern County for 60 years and local officials spoke of its economic benefits.
"We do support a local solution. We are interested in not a one-size-fits-all regulation," said Lorelei Oviatt, Director of Planning and Development for Kern County.
DOGGR plans to discuss the regulations at three more hearings across the state including a yet to be scheduled one in Bakersfield.
a vote on the proposed regulations may not come until next year.