The hearing on consolidating the oil operations at Banning Ranch has been scheduled for Friday, December 9 in the City Council Chambers at Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli Street.
The Banning Ranch mineral rights owner and oil field operator (Horizontal Drilling LLC) is applying to the Coastal Commission for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to consolidate their oil field operation onto, and to drill new wells in, two areas of Banning Ranch totaling 14 acres. These two areas are known as Oil Remainder Areas North and South (ORA-N and ORA-S). ORA-N is proposed for the base of the bluffs where the tank farm is currently located, while ORA-S is proposed for the entrance gate off PCH near Cappy’s were the City of Newport Beach’s oil operation and Sanitation District Bitter Point pump are located. The applicant would then abandon their wells outside ORA-N and ORA-S.
The CCC staff is recommending approval with conditions. The staff report can be reviewed at: https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2016/12/f14b-12-2016.pdf
The Banning Ranch Conservancy, along with the Sierra Club Banning Ranch Park and Preserve Task Force and other Banning Ranch groups are opposing the approval of the proposed consolidation based on, among other reasons, seismic activity, ESHA buffers, water injection issues, and sea level rise.
As discussed at the CNRCC Meeting in San Luis Obispo, we would like to have a good public presence at the hearing. If you are able to attend, there is information to help you plan your trip on our Ventura Guide. The hearings start at 9:00 am, but there are a number of other items on the agenda before the Banning Ranch item at 14.b.