Stop Illegal Oil Drilling in the City of Los Angeles

West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission; Elected City Officials; Candidates in 2022 City Elections

illegal oil drilling in los angeles
Photo: Yonah Bookstein, Google Earth

STOP ILLEGAL OIL WELL DRILLING IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

On June 2, 2021, the Zoning Administrator (ZA) at the Los Angeles Department of City Planning Department issued a ruling that declares that illegal oil well drilling at the West Pico Drill Site (9101 & 9151 W Pico Blvd, LA 90035) can remain without review, penalties or safeguards. The Zoning Administrator disregarded laws that have been in place for many decades.

The ZA likewise ruled that numerous other health, safety, and environmental violations of City law do not matter. He openly contradicted himself by recognizing numerous ongoing serious violations but nonsensically ruled that the drill site was in “substantial compliance” with the law and regulations.

This ruling means:

  • The City will allow oil companies to freely ignore City laws and endanger neighborhoods.
  • The City will allow oil companies to drill new oil wells without reviews or public hearings required by City law.
  • The City will allow oil companies to ignore California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

Such lawlessness endangers all communities near all oil drill sites in the City, and the rest of the City, too.

  • The Zoning Administrator and the Department of City Planning do not have the right or power to destroy the law that protects the public.
  • We demand that the City of Los Angeles follow the law and STOP illegal oil well projects and illegal oil production in the City.

You can download the ZA’s illogical and illegal ruling here.

Please sign this petition to support Neighbors for A Safe Environment (NASE) in its appeal that asks the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission to overturn the Zoning Administrator’s ruling and stop illegal oil well drilling in the City of Los Angeles.

NASE is a local non-profit (501C4) neighborhood organization formed to protect the community from the impacts of oil drilling and production. NASE has employed attorney Amy Minteer of Chatten-Brown, Carstens, and Minteer LLP to represent it in the appeal.

You can read a copy of NASE's appeal here. The appeal explains the dangerous and unlawful situation in detail.

Appealing the ruling to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission is the first step that must be taken to overturn the ruling.

Public Hearing on the Appeal: Wednesday, August 18, 4:30PM, via Zoom or telephone connection.

The official Public Notice of the Appeal Hearing with details about how to join the hearing is here.

As the August 18 dates draws near, we will send petition signers easy-to-read instructions for how to attend the hearing by Zoom or telephone.

We will also send easy-to-read instructions for sending letters of support for the appeal to the Area Planning Commission.


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To: West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission; Elected City Officials; Candidates in 2022 City Elections
From: [Your Name]

We Support Neighbors for A Safe Environment’s (NASE’s) Appeal to Overturn the Zoning Administrator’s Lawless Decision on the West Pico Drill Site (ZA-1989-17683-PA2-1A)

On June 2, 2021, the Zoning Administrator (ZA) in the Los Angeles Department of City Planning Department issued a ruling that openly declares that illegal oil well drilling at the West Pico Drill Site can stand unaltered, unreviewed, and without remedy. The ZA likewise ruled that numerous other health, safety, and environmental violations of City law and the ZA’s own Conditional Use Approval for the drill site do not matter.

The ZA recognized the rampant illegality but ruled that the West Pico Drill Site is and has been in “substantial compliance.”

Yes, the ZA said up is down and 2+2=5. He contradicted himself openly and without a fig leaf of embarrassment. He openly declared he did not need to follow City law governing the review of oil drilling and production. His ruling was lawless and illegal.

This is not just a danger to the communities around the West Pico Drill Site, but to all communities around all oil drill sites in the City.

Neighbors for a Safe Environment (NASE) has appealed the ZA’s ruling to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. NASE is a local non-profit (501C4) neighborhood organization formed to protect the community from the impacts of oil drilling and production.

• We, the signatories of this petition, support NASE’s appeal to overturn the entirety of the ZA’s dangerous and illegal decision.

• We call on the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission to study the case closely and thoroughly, and to preserve its jurisdiction over the case so that it is not rushed into hasty action.

• We call on all elected officials in the City of Los Angeles and all candidates running for elected office to demand that the ZA’s ruling be overturned and that the underlying Review of Conditions for the West Pico Drill Site be started again with clear instructions to obey all City and State laws and obligations, including those that require proper environmental review under the State’s CEQA law and the terms of the City’s 2001 Settlement Agreement with NASE.

• We insist that illegal actions, illegal oil well projects, and violations of health and safety regulations must be remedied with penalties, increased protections for the community, and equitable measures in the interest of good public policy (such as the plugging of illegal wells and idle wells).