In its quest to help the voters of Hermosa Beach make an informed decision, City Council has approved an economic study to determine the potential revenues and costs associated with with the oil production project proposed by E&B Natural Resources Management Corporation.
The oil production project, which would take place at the city’s maintenance yard at 6th Street and Valley Drive, will be squelched or move forward, depending on how Hermosans vote in an as-yet-to-be determined election, projected for March or November of 2014.
E&B released their economic study earlier this month, stirring controversy among opponents and others who said the study could be flawed.
Ever since the city entered into a legal agreement that brought E&B into the picture, City Council and city staff have consistently said they remain neutral.
“The city is committed to serving as unbiased clearinghouse of fact for the proposed project, and this independent study will help Hermosa Beach voters make their own individual decisions when they cast ballots on the future of oil drilling in the city,” said Mayor Patrick “Kit” Bobko.
“A project of this size can be expected to have numerous impacts on the city and its residents, and this economic study and the other studies the city will conduct will analyze the potential positive as well as negative impacts.”
Unlike E&B's study, the city’s independent economic study will assess the proposed project’s impacts on property values and tourism. It will also address key financial considerations, including potential revenues and costs for the city and the Hermosa Beach City School District.
The city is funding the economic study, one in several studies the city will undertake in an effort to help voters decide whether the proposed project should or should not move forward.
To secure a consultant to conduct the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) required by the California Environmental Quality Act for the proposed project, the city has issued a Request for Proposals.
The city will seek a consultant to conduct a health impact assessment of the proposed project, as well.
E&B has provided information about the proposed project in its project application on the city’s website and will be responsible for funding the EIR and the corresponding health impact assessment.