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Oil ruling permits county to salvage extensive review

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In this 2015 file photo, an oil rig stands next to a wheat field near Merced and Shafter avenues north of Bakersfield and west of Highway 99.

Kern government may repair flaws in the environmental assessment at the heart of its oil and gas permitting instead of having to throw out the massive document and start anew, a judge decided this week in the yearslong fight over the county's efforts to streamline local oilfield reviews.

In a ruling Tuesday that handed wins and losses to both sides of the case, Kern County Superior Court Judge Gregory Pulskamp gave the county flexibility to address what he found in June to be violations of the California Environmental Quality Act.