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See/Hear Public Meeting On Synergy Oil/Gas Plan To Remove Oil Eyesores, Restore Los Cerritos Wetlands North of 2nd St. (b/w PCH-Studebaker) is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Feb. 2, 2015) -- provides extended VIDEO coverage below of the public meeting organized by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust at which John McKeown, CEO of Synergy Oil & Gas, and Thienan Pfeiffer of Glenn Lukos Associates described, and fielded Q & A on, an ambitious company plan they say could remove decades of accumulated above-ground oil eyesores and restore large portions of the roughly 165 acre Los Cerritos Wetlands north of 2nd St. between Studebaker Rd. and PCH.

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Roughly 130 people attended the Jan. 27 event at the Kettering Elementary School auditorium where company reps described plans to restore the Los Cerritos wetlands' natural (now degraded) habitats and enable public access (via trails, possibly with docents) while simultaneously operating the company's valuable oil field below the surface from the "pumpkin patch" (southerly along PCH south of 2nd St.).

Dressed casually, Synergy CEO McKeown explained how he became involved with the project and the evolution of his thinking on how to address modernizing the oil field operations and also produce a restored wetlands. Ms. Pfeiffer joined in explaining the proposal's phased elements using Power Point slides.

CEO McKeown said the red line shown on the slide photo below is the Newport-Inglewood fault...and noted that photos of the Long Beach-Signal Hill area decades ago show oil drilling operations running along the fault line.

Mr. McKeown said only a small fraction of the pipelines visible on the property are currently being used. In the photo below (lower left), he said the yellow pipeline is in use, but the others aren't.

The slide below shows the the areas involved: the Synergy field (green), a Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority owned parcel (blue, at the NE corner of Studebaker/2nd) and the "pumpkin patch" (yellow, owned by Lyon Communities.)

Ms. Pfeiffer described the phasing of the project, illustrated with the slides below. As first reported by in June 2014 and detailed at the Jan. 27, 2015 meeting, Synergy plans to complete the project in phases, starting restoration in the NE "steamshovel slough" area (where there isn't oil drilling) to create a "mitigation bank" (credits that can be sold to other applicants for other projects in the area.)

Synergy says it then plans to remove nearly all of existing oil infrastructure from the property north of 2nd St. and relocate drilling operations using new, more compact and less visible technology, onto the "pumpkin patch" property (owned by Lyon Properties along PCH south of 2nd St.)

Synergy says its plan is to ultimately have the wetlands north of 2nd St. overseen by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority (public entity.)

Audience questions followed. Among the first: "Are any of the wells currently using fracking technology and do you anticipate using fracking technology in any wells in the future?" Mr. McKeown replied, "We actually do not frack at all, and it's not in our business plan to frack," Mr. McKeown said, and after intervening comments added "We don't do [fracking] and we do not plan on doing that." (For a sound clip of the full question and answer, click here.)



Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust Executive Director Elizabeth Lambe has called the proposal intriguing and, while not taking a position on the proposal at this point, said she strongly favors its discussion by the public.

Ms. Lambe suggested that other community groups might also wish to invite Synergy to present its plan at their group's meetings.



The project will have to undergo City Hall-run CEQA review and obtain City development entitlements, but as reported (first again) last year, in July 2014 the immediate-past City Council voted to allow a "Consolidated Coastal Development Permit" process in which the Coastal Commission alone (without an intervening City Hall approval step) will decide the project's Coastal Act issues (conslidated process approved 5-0 Council vote: Yes: Lowenthal, DeLong, O'Donnell, Austin and Neal; Absent: Garcia, Schipske, Andrews and Johnson.)

Developing...with further to follow on

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