The proposed project is the preparation of a Supplemental Recirculated EIR (SREIR) (October 2020) for reconsideration of Revision to Title 19 of the Kern County Zoning Ordinance (2020 A) (Ordinance) for local permitting for oil and gas focused on Chapter 19.98 (Oil and Gas Production). On November 9, 2015 the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved amendments to Title 19 of the Kern County Zoning Ordinance, 19.98( Oil and Gas Production) and related sections of the Kern County Zoning Ordnance (Ordinance) to address oil and gas exploration and operation activities within the Project Area in greater detail. The Board of Superiors also certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzing the impacts of the amendments, and the implementation of future oil and gas development activities expected to be undertaken pursuant to the amended Ordinance in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Effective March 25, 2020, the previously-approved Ordinance amendments and certified EIR were set aside pursuant to an opinion issued by the Fifth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal (Appellate Court) on February 25, 2020. The Appellate Court opinion rejected most of the legal challenges to the certified EIR except for five “CEQA violations” that the County must correct “in the event it decides to present the Ordinance (in its present or a modified form) to the Board for reapproval.”
A Draft SREIR (August 2020) was prepared, incorporating agency and public comments received during the NOP/IS and Scoping Process, and circulated August 3, 2020 for a 45 day public review period. This is the second circulation of a DSREIR for this process and incorporates all comments received on the Draft SREIR (August 2020) and the full document circulated August 2020. The County is preparing this SREIR to provide analysis to address the CEQA deficiencies found by the Appellate Court decision. The Draft SREIR will provide compliance for CEQA for reconsideration by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors of the Zoning Ordinance revisions focused on Oil and Gas Local Permitting.