On a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Tuesday banning new oil wells and production facilities in unincorporated areas, while ordering the phase-out of existing operations over the next 20 years.

The ordinance, which mirrors one being considered by the city of Los Angeles, designates existing oil wells and facilities in unincorporated areas as “nonconforming” uses, requiring them to be discontinued within 20 years.

“This is a really big step for people living near drill sites who have been disproportionately affected,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl during the board meeting.

Kuehl added that the communities affected by pollution and the presence of oil wells and facilities are disproportionately communities of color, and that the ordinance is “long overdue.”

Various community activists and organizers spoke during the meeting’s public comment period in support of the ordinance, saying it is necessary to alleviate the public health impacts of living near oil wells and oil facilities.

Representatives of oil businesses also spoke during the meeting, asking the board to delay the vote, and accusing the board of failing to conduct more outreach to businesses about the ordinance. They also asked the board to consider the jobs that could be lost because of the ordinance.

Some critics of efforts to end localized oil drilling have also suggested it would further hamper production at a time when gas prices are soaring. But proponents have said local production represents a small fraction of gas supply. Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian told the city’s Planning Commission last week that less than 1% of crude oil processed in Southern California refineries actually comes from wells in Los Angeles.

The Board of Supervisors voted last year in support of phasing out oil drilling in unincorporated areas and barring new facilities, leading to the ordinance that was unanimously approved Tuesday. A report to the board last year found that there were 1,046 active wells, 637 idle wells and 2,731 abandoned wells within the county’s unincorporated areas.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for a statewide phase-out of oil extraction by 2045.

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