Lawyers sent a letter last week to the Kern County Supervisory Board, complaining that information presented at a recent planning committee meeting about a controversial draft gas drilling ordinance and oil were inconsistent with the actual county document schedule.
According to senior counsel Chelsea Tu of the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment,
Planning and Natural Resources Department Director Lorelei Oviatt twisted the proposed ordinance’s timeline when she indicated a 15-year expiration date.
“In fact, the documents say a variety of different things ranging from the EIR looking at impacts in 20-25 years, to other parts of the EIR saying there is no expiration date.” , Tu said referring to the environmental impact report.
The letter asks the board to update the order to reflect the 15-year expiration date given by Oviatt. Lawyers from five organizations signed the letter. The other organizations are the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity.
If the supervisory board is serious about the 15-year cap, Tu said, under the California Environmental Quality Act, the proposed ordinance must be changed, resulting in another hearing and vote by the Planning Commission. .
In a statement, Oviatt said the supervisory board could not comment on the letter because it was a land use issue.
The letter will be included in the staff report given to council at its public hearing on March 8 at 9 a.m.