HERMOSA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The Hermosa Beach City Council has agreed to a study of a proposal to drill 35 oil wells that would access the Torrance Oil Field.
On Tuesday the council unanimously approved an environmental impact report for the oil drilling project proposed by E&B Natural Resources Management Corp.
The proposal is for a slant drilling project that would be built underground going out into the bay, meaning rigs would not be seen in the water like those in Huntington Beach or Santa Barbara.
However, some residents say they will fight to make sure the drilling never happens.
“If we have an oil spill, it will not be a Hermosa Beach issue. It will be an entire Santa Monica Bay issue, and that is scary,” Hermosa Beach homeowner Mike Collins told KCAL9′s Serene Branson.
If the report is well-received residents will vote late next year on whether or not the project will move forward.
Hermosa Beach resident Stacey Armato said voters made their stance clear on an earlier ballot.
“It puts it on the voters again to address the same issue, and we have spoken. We don’t want oil drilling,” she said.
Residents opposed drilling in a 1995 vote. The city then faced a judgement for breach of contract.
Hermosa Beach Mayor Kit Bobko maintains the city’s stance is neutral.
“As part of that settlement the city agreed we would allow the new party, the new oil company, to have a question as to whether the city would like to have oil drilling or not put to the voters,” he said.
KCAL9 was unable to reach E&B Resources for comment.
Community meetings are scheduled in late July to discuss the issue.