Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Opponents of a project to drill new wells at a South Los Angeles oil field plan to voice their objections at a hearing tomorrow at City Hall, at which an oil company is set to seek an exemption from an environmental review.

Freeport McMoRan is proposing to drill a new injection well and re-drill two other oil production wells at an existing facility at 1371 Jefferson Blvd. that was established in 1965.

A proposed waiver of a formal environmental impact review of the project will be considered during the Office of Zoning Administration public hearing.

Representatives of Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling, or STAND-LA, plan to speak against the project, which they contend would involve “noxious fumes, loud noises, heavy truck traffic and the injection of corrosive acids just steps away from homes and schools.”

Freeport-McMoRan contends the proposal “is minimal in scope and duration and falls far below the threshold for which an environmental review under CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) is triggered.”

The 120-day-long project “is consistent with the historical types of operations for which the site has been zoned since the 1960s,” the company said in a statement.

Company officials said they do not plan to use hydraulic fracturing techniques at the drill site.

Two of the proposed wells would fall under the “Oil Well Class B” category, which are used for “the subsurface injection into the earth of oil field waste, gases, water or liquid substances,” according to city planners.

A third proposed well would be classified as an “Oil Well Class A,” which is “intended to be used for the production of petroleum.”

City News Service

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