City of Whittier Planning Commission Votes Unanimously to Approve a Conditional Use Permit and Final EIR

Whittier, CA. Following 4 days of public hearing in Whittier, held from October 19 to October 25, the City of Whittier Planning Commission voted unanimously (5-0) to approve a staff recommended Draft Conditional-Use Permit to allow drilling on the Matrix City of Whittier Lease and to Certify the Final Environmental Imjpact Report which analyzed the Matrix Oil Corporation Project Proposal. During the 4 days the Planning Commission listened to City Staff, environmental consultants, public citizen comments, either for or against the project, and to Matrix Oil Corporation Officers and consultants that included a presentation, final statement and answers to questions. The approval will allow final consideration of the project by the City of Whittier City Council to include a yes or no vote to Certify the EIR and to allow drilling on the Matrix City lease over the former Chevron owned Whittier Field. Commissioner Fernando Dutra stated, “I believe the benefits far out-weight the negative impacts.” One Whittier resident said she thought the vote reflected the will of the people, stating that in the last City Council election, the candidates who opposed drilling were overwhelmingly defeated. The proposal now goes to the Whittier City Council for hearings beginning November 8. If drilling is approved, the City could receive annual oil royalties ranging from $7.5 million to $115.4 million according to a theird-party economic study that was made part of the EIR.