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Oil operations concerns raised at council meeting

3 years ago by in ( City Guide , News , Schools , Uncategorized , Welcome to Brea )

    Last year Linn Energy, the oil drilling company that works the oil fields just beyond Brea’s borders, gave a presentation on the hydraulic fracturing process, or fracking, and how safe it is.

      At the last Brea City Council meeting, Mayor Marty Simonoff announced that Linn said it would find a way to notify residents of oil activity such as fracking.

        That was prior to a group of Brea residents and experts who made their own presentation to the council that night about local oil operations. They had requested the time during the meeting, Linn Energy was not invited to participate.

          They started with Rick Clark who talked about how Brea oil operations date back to 1866, and its long relationship with the oil industry.

            Ann Marshall expressed frustration with oil industry jargon, and how a slight change in a term refers to another procedure. Marshall said she was told no acidization, the injection of chemicals into the well to dissolve rock, was happening in the Brea oil fields, but found acid solutions are used for well maintenance.

              She also spoke about acid dump jobs that use more than 20,000 gallons of water plus acid solutions. She said she learned that procedure was used on the water disposal well by Olinda Elementary School.

                Jennifer Hefner spoke about the Clean Air and Clean Water acts’ exemptions and exclusions for the oil and gas industry, and concerns that they give oil and gas extraction preference over public health, safety and environment.

                  The next speaker was Calvin Tillman, former mayor of DISH, Texas. He showed an aerial view of DISH dotted with spots that he said were hundreds of oil and gas facilities within approximately 2 square miles. He then showed a photo of dead trees and said they previously bordered a gas facility. Once it began operations, he said the trees began dying and DISH was filled with odors and pollution.

                    He spoke of how the pollution affected his sons who had health issues including nosebleeds in their sleep when odors were the strongest. That caused the family to move 25 miles away and, Tillman said, the boys’ health issues subsided.

                      He showed what he said was an image, taken in Texas, revealing volatile air emissions not visible to the naked eye. Then he showed a similar photo that he said was shot in Bakersfield. Made me choke.

                        He suggested Brea create a task force to develop public policy that protects public health and property.

                          Attorney Damon Nagami of the Natural Resources Defense Council told of pollution caused by all aspects of oil operations, and how the state’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources lacks adequate regulations and oversight.

                            Christie Russell spoke of how her family had worked in the Brea oil industry, but how we must learn more to better understand the risks and rewards of enhanced oil operations.

                              The group emphasized the need for a citizens' advisory board appointed by the City Council.

                                So will Linn Energy want rebuttal time before the City Council? Not according to company spokeswoman, Sarah Nordin, who said via email, “As it relates to the City Council, Linn will not be providing a rebuttal to any information that was presented as there were no specific comments related to Linn’s operations in the Brea area.”

                                  Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at
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  • Carolyn Campbell

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