Land-Use Issues Raised by Offshore Oil and Gas Development

by Douglas K. Anthony, County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States,
William J. Douros, County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States,
John Zorovich, County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


While prudent development of offshore energy resources may provide benefit to the nation overall, it invokes several issues for local and regional planning. In particular, petroleum development often requires onshore support facilities and infrastructure for processing, storing, and transporting petroleum and other products. These facilities, which are generally industrial and often hazardous by nature, bring local and regional planners face-to-face with issues of industrial siting and permitting, protecting public health and safety, and of properly balancing offshore development with local economies, local infrastructure, and local resource and environmental constraints. Advanced planning is required to better comprehend the extent to which aggregate offshore development can substantially alter the character of the land onshore. The experience in Santa Barbara County demonstrates that local planning can do much to reduce the impacts of offshore oil and gas development, particularly when it precedes that development. Essential programs for zoning and siting onshore facilities, consolidating their development and phasing their use, as well as for mitigating sizeable and diffuse impacts have similarly been developed. All too often, however, both federal regulators and the petroleum industry have been reluctant to acknowledge the critical role of local planning in offshore energy development.

Subject Headings: Land use | Offshore platforms | Public health and safety | Urban and regional development | Petroleum | Non-renewable energy | Industrial facilities | Occupational safety

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