Jul 12, 2011 1:43 AM by Bill Halter
Excelaron Oil Company which is based in San Luis Obispo thinks it has what it needs to ease community concerns over it's plan to drill around Huasna Valley. The company used an independent third party to draft an environmental impact report, or E.I.R. The report addresses community concerns about pollution, noise and wildfire risks in the area.
At community meetings throughout the county this week, Excelaron will answer questions about the E.I.R. On Monday night the meeting was in Arroyo Grande and people filled the Regional Center. Most were in opposition of Excelaron drilling for oil in the hills west of Huasna Valley and many of them let it be known through public comment to county members and Excelaron officials.
In the E.I.R. noise from drilling was cited as a significant concern, odor from gas that could be released was another significant issue as was the possibility of an oil spill. Not worth the risk says Huasna Valley Association Coordinator Ron Skinner. "San Luis Obispo County is one of only 33 counties in the country to house a nuclear plant and I feel were going our part for the energy production of our nation."
The E.I.R. says it's unlikely the oil production would effect groundwater. Excelaron has agreed to route tanker trucks on a private road to highway 166, avoiding travel through Arroyo Grande and say 100 jobs would be created during construction of oil wells and 35 permanent jobs would be needed for the rest of the project. "Head of household jobs, long term jobs as well as revenue enhancement to the county" says project planner Carol Florence.
San Luis Obispo County will have to give Excelaron approval to drill and the county says it would be able to put restrictions on how much drilling the oil company can do. The current proposal would allow Excelaron up to 12 wells and the company says it would use one drilling rig.
On Tuesday from 7:30-9:00 p.m. Excelaron will hold a public outreach meeting in the Paso Robles Centennial Park Banquet Room. On Wednesday they'll be available to the public from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Galaxy Theatres in Atascadero. On Thursday from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo City Public Library. On Friday the final meeting will be at the Morro Bay Veteran's Hall from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
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