(A)   Purpose - The Oxnard Coastal Zone exhibits significant potential for exploration for and production of oil and gas resources. The purpose of this section is to provide minimum operational standards to assure compatibility of oil and gas development with valuable coastal resources which include, but are not limited to, recreation and scenic resources, environmentally sensitive habitat areas and public access, as well as with all applicable provisions and policies of the Oxnard coastal land use plan. Oil and gas development shall be permitted in accordance with Section 30260 of the Coastal Act, in addition to the standards outlined below.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.7.1)
   (B)   Applicability and specific standards -
      (1)   No well shall be drilled and no accessory equipment or facility permanently located within:
         (a)   One hundred feet of any dedicated public street or highway;
         (b)   One hundred feet of a building or dwelling not a part of operation of the well;
         (c)   Three hundred feet of any building used as a place of public assembly, recreation or school;
         (d)   Three hundred feet of a stream or mean high tide line, river, wetland, lake, or channel appearing on the most current U.S. Geological Service 2,000 scale topographic map as a blue line, except where an applicant has demonstrated that the subject use can be safely located near a watercourse without creating a risk of water pollution, damage to wildlife and habitat and impairment of flood control interests. In no case shall setbacks from streams or channels be less than 50 feet; and
         (e)   The applicable setbacks for accessory structures for the sub-zone in which the use is located.
      (2)   Drill sites and access roads shall not obstruct natural drainage courses.
      (3)   Drill site preparation, drilling and production operations shall be conducted in such a manner as to eliminate, as far as practicable, dust, noise, vibration or noxious odors, and shall be in accordance with the best accepted practices for drilling for and producing oil, gas and other hydrocarbon substances and shall comply with current standards set forth in all applicable State laws regulating oil and gas development. Generally accepted and used technological improvements for reducing factors of nuisance and annoyance shall be employed by the permittee.
      (4)   Drilling, redrilling and maintenance work on approved wells shall be conducted with the use of portable equipment only. No permanent derrick shall be installed, unless otherwise allowed by the permit or required by the State Division of Oil and Gas. All equipment used for such purposes shall be removed from the site within 30 days of the completion of such work and shall not be stored on the site, unless a time extension is approved by the commission.
      (5)   Oil, produced water, drilling fluids, cuttings, and other contaminants associated with the drilling, production, storage and transport of oil shall be contained on the site in steel-lined tanks, unless properly transported off-site or injected into a well. The director shall be furnished with a plan for controlling oil spillage and preventing saline and other polluting or contaminating substances from reaching surface or subsurface waters. The plan shall be consistent with the requirements of the city, county, State and federal governments and shall be subject to the approval of the director.
      (6)   No earthen sump shall be used and all wastewater, mud, oil or any other waste produced from the drilling operation shall be accumulated in steel tanks. Such steel tanks may be placed in excavations for the purpose of providing gravity flow, but shall not be permitted to overflow at any time, and all such tanks which extend above the natural surface of the ground less than five feet shall be considered as debris basins and shall be entirely enclosed by a chain-link fence or equal, six feet in height and erected in a substantial manner. Such tanks or the waste material therein shall be hauled away from the drilling site for disposal at an approved waste disposal site. The operator shall notify the hauling or disposal contractor in writing of these requirements with a copy to the director.
      (7)   Upon issuance of a drilling permit and prior to drilling operations thereunder, the operator shall provide the city with a bond issued by a company authorized to do business in the State, guaranteeing the faithful performance of each and every development standard and condition set forth in the permit. The bond shall be maintained in effect until released by the city council. The amount of the bond shall be established by the coastal permit for each controlled drilling site. The surface of the roads to be used are to be examined prior to use in connection with the permit and an additional bond for each controlled drilling site made payable to the governmental agency having jurisdiction shall be posted guaranteeing the repair of all damage. In the event other drilling permits are issued for the same controlled drilling site, the bonds may be amended to guarantee compliance with each of the other drilling permits. No extension of time that may be granted or any change in specifications or requirements that may be approved or required by any officer or department of this city shall be deemed to exonerate the surety on any bond posted pursuant to this requirement.
      (8)   The drill site and all roads or hauling routes located between the city right-of-way and the site shall be oiled, paved, chipped, sealed or otherwise treated as required by the public works department, and maintained as necessary to prevent dust.
      (9)   Light shall be controlled so as not to produce annoying levels of glare or abnormal light levels directed at any neighboring uses or rights-of-way.
      (10)   The operator shall immediately notify the director and the fire department, department of fish and game, regional water quality control board, and all other applicable agencies in the event of any fires, spills or hazardous conditions. Upon request of any city department, the operator shall provide a written report of any incident within five working days which shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the facts of the incident, the corrective measures used, and the steps taken to prevent recurrence of the accident.
      (11)   (a)   Drilling, production or maintenance operations associated with an approved permit, shall not produce noise measured at a point five feet away from the outside wall of an occupied residence, school, health care facility or place of public assembly that exceeds the following standards as defined and measured in accordance with National Standards Institute Criteria and Methodologies:
Time Period
Peak Noise Level
Day (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
55 dB(A)
Night (10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.)
45 dB(A)
         (b)   In the event that ambient noise levels exceed these limits, the maximum allowable day/night noise levels may be increased to the ambient day/night noise level. Ambient noise levels shall be determined by measuring the noise levels in a manner prescribed by the director. Measurements for said ambient noise levels shall be taken at a point five feet away from the outside wall of an occupied residence or school. Once the operator has been notified by the director that the operation is in violation of the applicable noise standards, he/she shall have until 10:00 p.m. of that day to comply with the standards or cease the operations that are the source of the noise. The director may waive this requirement if upon the advice of the State Division of Oil and Gas, the cessation of the subject operations would lead to an unsafe operation.
      (12)   If drilling, redrilling or maintenance operations such as pulling pipes or pumps are located within 1,600 feet of an occupied dwelling, school, health care facility or other place of public assembly, the work platform, engine base and draw works, crown block, power source(s), pipe rack and other probable noise sources associated with a drilling or maintenance operation, shall be enclosed with soundproofing, sufficient to ensure that expected noise levels do not exceed the noise limits set forth herein, or in the conditions of the permit. This requirement may be waived by the director if it can clearly be demonstrated that such measures have no adverse impact upon adjacent sensitive habitat or residential areas. Residents within the prescribed distance may submit a waiver exempting the drilling operation from such requirements. All required soundproofing shall be installed prior to drilling.
      (13)   All permanent facilities and structures on the site shall be painted a neutral color so as to blend in with natural surroundings. Said color shall be approved by the director prior to the painting of said facilities.
      (14)   The area shall be maintained in a neat and orderly manner so as not to create any hazardous or unsightly conditions such as debris, pools of oil, water or other liquids, weeds, brush and trash. No equipment shall be stored on the site which is not essential to the regular operation of the oil well located thereon. Lumber, pipes, and casings shall not be left on the site except when drilling operations are being conducted.
      (15)   Within 90 days after the revocation, expiration or surrender of any permit, the abandonment of use, or after the wells on a site have been shut in or the operation thereof has been suspended for 90 days, the premises shall be restored and revegetated to as nearly the original condition as is practicable. Upon completion of production, the oil and gas production facility area shall be returned as much as is possible to either its natural state or to be in conformance with the surrounding topography and uses by contouring, seeding, and landscaping, except as may otherwise be permitted by conditions of an approved coastal development permit.
      (16)   The operator shall maintain for the life of the permit liability insurance of not less than $500,000 for one person, $1,000,000 for all persons, and $2,000,000 for property damage. This requirement does not preclude the option of self-insurance.
      (17)   The only processing operations permitted at the well site are the separation of produced water and natural gas from crude oil and those processing operations required for injection purposes and for the transportation of production products from the site, unless otherwise required by the State Division of Oil and Gas.
      (18)   The permit shall become null and void if a zone clearance for site preparation and drilling of at least one well has not been issued within one year of the granting of the original permit. Failure of the city to notify the permittee of the imminent expiration of the permit shall not be grounds for continuation beyond this deadline.
      (19)   Upon the filing of a renewal application at least six months prior to expiration, the permittee shall be eligible to continue normal operations until the request is acted upon and all administrative appeals are heard, even though the permit being renewed has expired. The permittee/operator of record is solely responsible to apply for renewal of the permit. Failure of the city to notify said parties of the expiration shall not be grounds to continue operations after the permit expires.
      (20)   All facilities and uses other than those specifically identified in the approved permit are prohibited until and unless authorized by the commission. All proposed changes to the permit or to the existing proposed uses, facilities, structures or improvements (including construction of pipelines to and from the site) shall be presented in written and map form to the director, who shall determine what type of permits, if any, the proposal requires. The director may grant a minor change to allow for the redrilling of existing wells if there would be no significant change in the approved plot plan and if there have been no significant changes in the land use on adjacent areas. No permit shall be required for the maintenance and normal operation of existing facilities.
      (21)   The director shall be provided with the current names, addresses and telephone numbers of the permittee's agents or representatives who shall receive all orders and notices as well as all communications regarding matters of condition and code compliance at the site. This information shall be provided for both the field agent at the site and an agent at the office headquarters. If the names, addresses or phone numbers of the agents should change, the permittee shall provide the director with the new information within 30 days.
      (22)   The permittee shall provide copies of the conditions applicable to the permit, to the owner of record, and drilling contractor. A current set of conditions shall be posted and maintained at the drill site for use by persons participating in the drilling of said well.
      (23)   The permittee agrees as a condition of issuance or renewal and use of the permit to defend at his/her sole expense any action brought against the city because of issuance or renewal of the permit, or in the alternative to relinquish the permit. Upon demand of the city, the permittee shall reimburse the city for any court costs and/or attorneys' fees which the city may be required by a court to pay as a result of any such action. The city may, at its sole discretion, participate in the defense of any such action, but such participation shall not relieve the permittee of his/her obligations under this requirement.
      (24)   The permittee's acceptance of the permit and/or commencement of construction and/or operations shall be deemed to be acceptance of all standards and conditions required of the permit.
      (25)   Neither the issuance of a permit hereunder, nor compliance with the conditions thereof, shall relieve an operator from any responsibility otherwise imposed by law for damage to persons or property, nor shall the issuance of any permit hereunder serve to impose any liability upon the city, its officers or employees, for injury or damage to persons or property.
      (26)   The director may suspend, following a duly noticed hearing, all or a portion of the operations until such time as the violation in question is corrected. If the director orders suspension of well operation, the suspension shall only occur after consulting with the State Division of Oil and Gas about the implications of such a suspension. Approval of any other city permits requested by the permittee may be withheld until any violation in question is corrected.
      (27)   (a)   The permittee shall bear the full cost incurred by the city or its consultants for the review of material submitted, monitoring and enforcement of the requirements of the subject permit, and a resolution of valid complaints attributed to the permittee. To ensure that funds are available for costs incurred, the permittee shall deposit $1,000 with the city prior to the issuance of a zoning clearance. The funds shall be used for at least three inspections of the project during the following phases of the project site: preparation, drilling, production and/or rehabilitation of the site if a producing well was not achieved.
         (b)   The funds shall also cover the cost for any other necessary inspections or the resolution of valid complaints that may occur. Once the project is in the production phase, the required deposit fee may be reduced by the director to an amount commensurate with the anticipated cost of monitoring and enforcing the permit. One deposit may be made to cover all of the permittee's various permits. Upon receiving notice from the city that the required deposit fee is below the required level, the permittee shall have 30 days to bring the deposit fee up to the required level or pay the cost billed to him/her. Failure to pay the required bill or maintain the required deposit fee balance shall be grounds for suspension or revocation of the permit. Prior to the city engaging any independent consultants or contractors pursuant to this section and standard city building procedures, the director shall confer with the permittee over the work to be contracted for and the cost of such work. However, the permittee may hire private consultants to undertake work required by the city, provided that the consultant and the proposed scope of work are acceptable to the city.
      (28)   Unless otherwise advised by the applicable State agencies, rotary mud, produced water, drill cuttings, liquid hydrocarbons, and all other oil field waste derived or resulting from the drilling or reworking of any well shall not be discharged onto, beneath or outside of the site in any form or manner and shall only be discharged from the drilling activities and shall be transported to a State-approved Class I dump site.
      (29)   Each producing well site shall be completed in such a manner that all production equipment and facilities shall be recessed, covered or otherwise screened from view. Trees or shrubbery shall be planted and maintained so as to develop attractive landscaping and to screen the site and production equipment, structures, tanks and facilities thereon from public view, unless such equipment, structures, tanks and facilities are screened from public view by reason of an isolated location, existing trees or shrubbery, intervening surface contours or a wall constructed as herein provided. The commission may waive this provision to wells in an existing field.
      (30)   No sign shall be constructed, erected or maintained on the property subject to the permit except those required by law or allowed by the city's sign ordinance. Wells shall be marked in a conspicuous place with the name of the operator, and other pertinent information as necessary. This marker shall be maintained at all times.
      (31)   Any production shipping tanks installed on the site shall have a rated capacity of not more than 3,000 barrels per site and the tanks and appurtenances. Within 30 days of erection of the tanks, the tanks shall be kept painted and maintained in good conditions at all times. The tanks shall be painted in accordance with the paint scheme approved by the commission.
      (32)   All equipment necessarily incidental to production shall be completely enclosed in a building. The plans for the building are to be approved by the public works department, fire department and development services department. The building shall be of a permanent type, be of attractive design, and be constructed in a manner that eliminates as far as practicable, dust, noise, noxious odors and vibrations or other conditions offensive to the senses. The building shall be equipped with such devices as are necessary to eliminate the objectionable features mentioned above. The architectural treatment of the exterior of the building shall also be subject to the approval of the development services department.
      (33)   Only electrical power shall be utilized in all pumping and production operations. Power shall not be generated on the drilling site. Alternative power sources may be allowed by an approved coastal development permit.
      (34)   If the city receives a complaint about noise originating from the permitted operation, the director may require a noise evaluation made by qualified noise experts at the permittee's expense. Until such time as a determination is made regarding the validity of the complaint, the operator shall, unless otherwise ordered by the State Division of Oil and Gas, take steps to minimize any ongoing noise, such as but not limited to, the cessation of:
         (a)   Hammering on pipe;
         (b)   Racking or making up of pipe;
         (c)   Acceleration;
         (d)   Acceleration of engines or motors;
         (e)   Drilling assembly rotational speeds that cause more noise than necessary and could be reasonably reduced by use of a slower rotational speed;
         (f)   Picking up or laying down of drill pipe, casing, tubing or rods into or out of the drill hole; and
         (g)   Work except for the continued circulation of fluids within the well, unless such succession would endanger the well.
      (35)   All non-emergency maintenance of a well, such as the pulling of pipe and replacement of pumps, shall be limited to the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. if the well site is located within 3,000 feet of an occupied residence.
      (36)   Drilling activities shall be limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. when they are located less than 800 feet from an occupied residence.
      (37)   No one shall reside on the area subject to the permit except individuals who are required to be on the site 24 hours a day. Those individuals include, but are not limited to, the foreman, drilling mud specialist, mud logger and directional drilling technicians.
      (38)   During drilling operations, sealing of the formation-casing, annular well space from ground surface through the base of fresh water shall be performed to prevent degradation of ground water quality.
      (39)   If archaeological or historical artifacts are uncovered, the operator shall immediately notify the director and preserve the site until a qualified archaeologist can recommend the proper disposition of the site, consistent with the policies of the Oxnard coastal land use plan.
      (40)   The permittee shall clean and restore all streets, sidewalks and other places constituting public property which may have been disturbed or damaged in connection with any operations associated with the use, including operations for the abandonment of the use except for ordinary wear and tear of public streets and highways, to substantially the same condition that existed at the time of use inauguration.
      (41)   Any machinery used in production and/or processing shall be designed and housed so that noise and vibration are reduced to a minimum and the operation thereof shall be compatible with the level of the surrounding area.
      (42)   The permittee shall prepare an oil spill control plan for review and approval by the city, as lead agency, and the department of fish and game, and any other applicable agency, as determined by the director.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.7.2)
(Ord. No. 2034, 2716)