On Friday, October 2, 2015, CCEJN submitted the following letter to Governor Brown asking for his signature on AB 1420:
October 1, 2015
Honorable Edmund G. Brown
Governor, State of California
California State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Support for AB 1420 (Salas)
On behalf of Central California Environmental Justice Network, I am writing to request your signature for AB 1420 (Salas)—a pipeline safety bill that was proposed as a result of the gas pipeline leak in Arvin, that displaced eight families for over nine months in 2014. CCEJN and other organizations have previously contacted your office about the incident in Kern County and requested your help in achieving a resolution that would benefit the affected residents.
Regretfully, just a few months ago, we wrote a second letter to your office detailing another incident of a pipeline rupture, which flooded a property with refined petroleum. This second incident occurred in Lamont, CA—a highly disadvantaged community, also in Kern County. We are still working with the affected communities to advocate for a just resolution to both of these incidents.
As part of our advocacy during these events, we have learned that pipeline safety is a grave concern across the state and a significant health issue in environmental justice communities. In Kern County, the top oil producing county in the state, any pipeline leak represents very real ramifications to residents, businesses, and public resources. AB 1420, is a bill that begins to address the issue of pipeline safety by:
• Mapping the location of active gas pipelines in sensitive areas across the state.
• Directing the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to evaluate and update its existing regulations on active gas pipelines.
• Improving the notification requirements to the public about these incidents, including a focus on translation and clarity.
This bill represents a strong start to the task of improving the safety of oil operations in the San Joaquin Valley and all over California. We believe that there is more work to be done in order to ensure that incidents like the one in Arvin do not happen again in our state. By signing this bill, you will show that this issue is just as important to you as it is to us. We hope that you can identify with the families that have suffered through these incidents and take this step to value their safety and dignity.
Central California Environmental Justice Network
4270 N. Blackstone Ave #212
Fresno, CA 93726