Monterey County announces a settlement regarding Measure Z.
Monterey County has reached a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs who sued to halt the implementation of the initiative known as Measure Z. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, the County will avoid the potential for millions of dollars in attorney fees and costs, potentially tens of millions of dollars. The pressure of the County’s $36 Million budget deficit next fiscal year, and more in the following fiscal year, contributed to the Board’s decision. The settlement preserves the County’s right to vigorously defend the portion of Judge Wills’ March 1, 2018 Judgment that left Measure Z’s “Fracking Ban” in place. “We know how important the fracking ban is to the Monterey residents who voted for Measure Z,” said Board Chair Luis Alejo, “and this settlement allows the County to focus on defending the people’s action.”
Under the terms of Measure Z, the policy prohibiting land uses in support of well stimulation – known as the “Fracking Ban” -- is effective immediately in the inland area of the County, except for the former Fort Ord area. County staff will modify the County’s 2010 General Plan and Local Coastal Program consistent with the language of Measure Z and Judge Wills’ decision.
Staff will also notify the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources that Measure Z’s Fracking Ban is effective immediately and that any applications for state permits seeking to conduct “well stimulation treatments” including hydraulic fracturing or acid well stimulation treatments must be referred to the County of Monterey.
The settlement agreement does not limit the County’s ability to take other lawful measures to limit the expansion of oil and gas extraction within Monterey County.
For more information, please contact County Counsel Charles McKee at: (831) 755-5045.