When the California Supreme Court issued its August ruling on Chevron v Monterey County, it was back to the drawing board for Brentwood’s proposed oil and gas drilling ban, which was up for its final vote just a few days later. That Supreme Court decision, though broadly misunderstood as denying local jurisdictions the right to regulate oil and gas production, actually preserves local zoning authority. But everything depends on location, location, location—and this was the exact focus of Brentwood city attorneys when, out of an excess of caution, they rewrote the initial ordinance.
This revised, more bullet-proof version was unanimously approved by the planning commission and will receive its first hearing by the city council on Tuesday, February 13. A second hearing will finalize the process.
The Brentwood planning commission’s resolution urges the city council to adopt the new land use ordinance on the basis of these findings:
“A. Oil and gas development activities can have significant and prolonged environmental and health effects, including substantial increases in localized air pollution and emissions, which can in turn result in significant long-term climate change effects.
B. Other risks associated with such activities include adverse effects on reproductive health and birth weights, and the potential for workplace related incidents such as vehicle collisions and explosions/fires.
C. Restricting the locations of oil and gas development activities within the City of Brentwood protects the community’s ability to enjoy clean air and water, and to live and work in a healthy and thriving place.” [emphasis added]
This whole process began on March 22, 2022—why does two years feel like a century?—when Brentwood City Councilmember Jovita Mendoza proposed an interim moratorium on oil and gas drilling while city staff worked up a drilling ordinance to protect the health and safety of Brentwood residents.
Mark your calendars and be prepared to cheer on the city council at the February 13 hearing. The Agenda Item is F.2. You can submit written comments to all five members of the city council via email@example.com . The zoom link is below, and also at the top of the agenda.
Tuesday, February 13, 7 PM
Brentwood City Council
City Hall, 150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
City Council zoom link: www.brentwoodca.gov/vcc
This meeting can also be viewed on YouTube.