SLO County seeking changes in Huasna Valley oil project
July 1, 2011
A San Luis Obispo County planning report is recommending that an oil field proposed for the Huasna Valley be scaled back somewhat to minimize visual impacts. [Tribune]
A recently released environmental impact report recommends reducing the Excelaron oil project from two drilling pads to one because of visual, noise and odor concerns.
The project could result in 12 wells set on the back side of Huasna Valley near the Santa Barbara County line.
In Price Canyon, between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach, sets the county’s only active oil field. In the immediate area a smell reminiscent of rotten eggs, also common at sulfur hot springs in the area, is detectable.
“This project will turn Huasna Valley into another Price Canyon,” said Ron Skinner, spokesman for Huasna Valley Association, a group representing the approximately 200 residents of the valley to the Tribune.
Opponents of the project worry about noise and foul odors from the project.
Additionally, unsubstantiated reports in the local press gave the impression that Excelaron was headed by Will Divine, an individual who had left the property environmentally unclean after drilling on the site. Divine is not involved in the Excelaron project.
Reports that the state came in and cleaned up the site with taxpayers covering the bill are also incorrect.
The California Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources oversaw the cleanup, which was started after Excelaron purchased the oil rights. Funding for the project came from the orphan well fund, which is capitalized by required oil company fees.