This February, California’s Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency and Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency appointed PSE Executive Director Seth Shonkoff to an independent review panel that was formed in accordance with California Senate Bill 83.

The panel is tasked with conducting an independent evaluation of the state’s handling of its Underground Injection Control (UIC) regulatory program, which oversees the process of injecting oil and gas waste fluids underground for disposal and enhanced oil recovery.

The formation of the panel is part of state efforts to reform its regulation and oversight of oil and gas production in order to increase protections for fresh water aquifers, public health, and safety. Production from California’s oil fields is largely dependent upon enhanced oil-recovery techniques such as UIC.

Per requirements set out in SB 83, panel members bring diverse expertise and backgrounds, including in geology, toxics, public health, and the environment, as well as agriculture, the oil and gas industry, and environmental justice. As part of their work, the panel will also seek input from a variety of stakeholders and from the general public.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will facilitate the panel’s activities.