LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the company has entered into a settlement agreement with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the County of Los Angeles, the California Office of the Attorney General, and the California Air Resources Board to resolve all outstanding claims by those government bodies against the company related to the 2015-2016 natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. Under the terms of the $119.5 million settlement agreement, SoCalGas will, among other things, reimburse city, county and state governments for costs associated with their response to the leak; establish a program with the California Air Resources Board to mitigate the methane emissions from the leak; and fund local environmental benefit projects to be administered by the government parties.
“SoCalGas is delivering on our commitment to the Governor and the people of California to fully mitigate the methane emissions from the leak at our Aliso Canyon facility,” said Bret Lane, president and chief operating officer for SoCalGas. “The settlement will also help California meet its ambitious climate goals by advancing projects that capture methane from dairy farms and waste and convert that energy into renewable natural gas for use in transportation. SoCalGas is pleased to have worked with the Attorney General’s Office, the Air Resources Board, the Los Angeles City Attorney and the County of Los Angeles to resolve these matters for the people of California.”
Building on the comprehensive safety enhancements that have been introduced at the field, SoCalGas also agreed to continue its fence line methane monitoring program and hire an independent ombudsman to monitor and report on safety at the facility.
Most Comprehensive Safety Review in the Nation
On Jul. 19, 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) cleared SoCalGas to resume limited injections at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility as described here. State regulators and independent experts at the National Labs have called the safety review conducted at Aliso Canyon the most comprehensive in the nation.
Under new regulations, gas will only flow through newly installed and pressure-tested inner steel tubing. The outer casing of wells will serve only as a secondary layer of protection. At the state’s direction, the field also will be operated at a reduced pressure, providing an added margin of safety.
Additionally, SoCalGas has introduced industry-leading technology and practices at Aliso Canyon, including:
- Around-the-clock pressure monitoring of all wells in a 24-hour operations center;
- Daily patrols to visually examine every well four times each day;
- Daily scanning of each well, using sensitive infrared thermal imaging cameras that can detect leaks; and
- Enhanced training for our employees and contractors.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 24,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future. The company is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.