SoCalGas Announces Settlement Agreement with Los Angeles City Attorney and County
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Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) 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: