BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County Superior Court judge’s ruling this week allows the County of Kern to resume oilfield permitting.
In the decision issued Wednesday, Judge Gregory Pulskamp ruled the County’s revised oil and gas permitting ordinance now complies with the California Environmental Quality Act and the County may resume its streamlined permitting process.
This is the latest round in a seven-year-old court fight over the ordinance passed in 2015.
Environmental groups challenged the ordinance in court, saying it failed to provide adequate protections to communities, air and groundwater resources, and agricultural land disrupted by oil and gas drilling operations.
They prevailed and an appellate court ordered the county to address those concerns. The revised ordinance has passed court muster, at least for now.
“We appreciate the court’s review of our work and acknowledgement that the… ordinance…is legally valid, and that Kern County has done this right. Until the consumer demand for fossil fuels stops in California, Kern County will continue to work to produce the fuel that consumers need”Kern County Board of Supervisors Chairman Zack Scrivner
Environmental groups have already appealed the ruling, claiming the county hasn’t done enough to protect public health and the environment.