Executive Summary

Oil and gas development in the Los Angeles Basin presents unique public health and safety concerns because some oil and gas reserves lie beneath densely populated urban areas. Future production from these natural reserves will primarily come from existing oil fields, with some potential for the development of undiscovered oil and gas resources using conventional or unconventional methods. This report is intended to provide local policy-makers with an overview of relevant public health research and investigations. It concludes with an overview of measures to reduce potential health impacts.

There are currently 68 active oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin, with facilities operating under a wide range of operational and environmental conditions. While some facilities have been subject to stricter design and mitigation measures, others have not been required to conduct health risk assessments or other environmental studies. In some neighborhoods, such as South Los Angeles, residences are located only several feet away from the boundary of a drilling site and as close as 60 feet from an active oil well. Two smaller neighborhood facilities, which the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has responded to concerns or complaints, were found in a state of disrepair with environmental conditions that impact the health of neighboring residents...