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NEXT STEPS: FMOG Drilling & Expansion Project at Murphy Oil Site

UPDATE ON EFFORTS TO:

  • Stop the expansion of Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas (FMOG) expansion of gas operations into the parkland (27th St. & St. Andrews) adjacent to the active production facility at the Murphy Drill Site (2126 W Adams Bvd), and
  • Require that all development projects at the Murphy Drill Site be subjected to proper reviews by the City’s Planning Department.

The short version of the story:

  1. The community won its fight to demand that the Planning Department conduct a full and proper review of the gas plant expansion project, and
  2. Now, we enter into the next stage of the effort to stop the expansion into the parkland and need your participation.

HOW THIS HAPPENED

Our United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (UNNC) endorsed two appeals filed by community members who protested the Planning Department’s improper handling of the case. The appeals were scheduled to be heard at the June 3rd meeting of the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission (see below for details).  With the assistance of City Council President Herb Wesson, the appellants reached an agreement with the operator of the Murphy Drill Site, FMOG. That agreement was affirmed in front of the Area Planning Commission and it achieves the goal of requiring a full and proper review for the gas plant expansion project.

In the coming weeks, FMOG will be filing a Plan Approval application with the Planning Department. This did not happen in 2013, when FMOG first proposed the project. Instead, the case was slated for less rigorous review by the Planning Department that did not include a public hearing, and even that lower level of review was not handled properly.

Now there will be a full and proper review.  It will include an investigation and analysis by a properly selected Zoning Administrator, and the review will include a PUBLIC HEARING at which all concerned members of the public will be able to voice their concerns about project.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

The greatest public impact upon the Zoning Administrator’s decision process can be achieved by writing letters to the Planning Department as well as by attending the public hearing.

The hearing date will not be announced for several weeks, and when it is announced there must be at least 24 days advance notice given before the hearing. That means the hearing is likely to be scheduled no sooner than late July, and more likely in August.

We will keep you posted about the scheduling of the public hearing.

Meanwhile, it is not too early to start writing letters to the Planning Department about the case. Your letter should prominently mention the case number ZA-1959-15227-O-PA5 as well as the location of the project at the Murphy Drill Site, 2126 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles 90018.

This new Plan Approval review gives the public an opportunity to make its voice heard on the question of expanding into the parkland.

It is also an opportunity for the Planning Department to hear from the public about any additional needs for mitigation of ongoing operations at the Murphy Drill Site. Mitigation can include such things as enhanced landscaping, restrictions of work hours, regulation of lighting and noise, maintenance of the work facility, and maintenance of surrounding public streets and sidewalks that are used and worn by heavy equipment traffic from the Murphy Drill Site.

Please attend UNNC meetings when the project will be discussed.  In addition to providing you with another opportunity to be heard, this meeting will also provide you with more information about the project, arguments both pro and con, and also information about a range of potential mitigation measures intended to lessen the environmental impact of the oil and gas production facility.

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