Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinance


The Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinance (Oil Ordinance), prepared in response to City Council File No. CF 17-0447, amends the Los Angeles Municipal Code to prohibit all new oil and gas drilling activities and make any existing extraction a nonconforming use in all zones of the City.

Studies show that activities related to oil and gas operations have been associated with many potential negative health and safety impacts, especially when they occur in close proximity to sensitive uses such as homes, schools, places of worship, recreation areas, and healthcare facilities. Consistent with the City’s policies on climate change, Los Angeles has adopted regulations that will phase out oil activities altogether, improving the City’s overall livability while addressing long-standing injustices to frontline communities and communities of color disproportionately affected by the health impacts of drill sites.

In 2022, the Los Angeles City Council responded to concerns by adopting an ordinance to ban all oil drilling within City limits. The adopted Oil Ordinance requires the phase out of these oil drilling activities, which are known hazards to public health and safety, by immediately banning new oil and gas extraction and requiring the removal of existing operations after an amortization period.

On December 2, 2022, the Los Angeles City Council adopted Ordinance No. 187,709. This ordinance became effective on January 18, 2023. The Ordinance deems all existing drill sites and oil/ gas wells a legally nonconforming use. In addition, it prohibits operators from drilling, redrilling, deepening, or performing any well maintenance, except if it is to prevent or respond to a threat to public health, safety, or the environment, as determined by the Zoning Administrator. This specific review process is known as the Health and Safety exception.

City Planning has prepared Zoning Administrator’s Memorandum (ZA Memo) 141 and a Zoning Administrator’s Interpretation (ZAI) relating to the implementation of Ordinance No. 187,709. The ZA Memo outlines the steps and procedures for Health and Safety exception requests. Operators are required to submit these requests to the Department of City Planning. The ZAI defines “well maintenance” activities in the LAMC. Both the ZA Memo and ZAI will serve as guidance for operators and the public regarding oil drilling regulations in the City.

This webpage will serve as a resource for community stakeholders and interested parties on the ordinance, and will be updated as draft regulations are proposed or new information is released.

For more information about the ordinance, its implementation, or to sign up for updates, please email planning.oildrilling@lacity.org

On September 14, 2023, the City Planning Commission (CPC) heard the appeals for ZA-2022- 8997-ZAI-1A. The CPC issued their determination on October 4, 2023 and a digital copy of that determination can be found here at this link. The meeting audio of the CPC meeting on 9/14/2023 can be heard by clicking at this link here.

Final, Adopted and Effective Ordinance No. 187, 709
ZA Memo 141 on Health and Safety Exception Projects
Citywide case no. ZA-2022-8997-ZAI: Zoning Administrator's Interpretation on Well Maintenance
Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinance Fact Sheet
Draft Ordinance - Revised September 2022
Draft Ordinance - August 2022

The City Planning Commission (CPC) approved and recommended adoption of the Oil and Gas Drilling Ordinance at a public meeting on September 22, 2022. The audio to this presentation and discussion is available at the following link here.