SoCal Gas Knew Aliso Canyon Wells Were Deteriorating a Year Before Leak

"Lawsuit alleges negligence and regulatory filings show the company knew its storage facility wells were vulnerable to leaks."

"Southern California Gas Co. knew of deteriorating wells at its underground methane storage facilities and warned state regulators of the risks almost a year before a massive, uncontrolled leak was discovered at its Aliso Canyon unit on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

The gas company disclosed the risk as part of a state regulatory filing and requested a rate increase to pass along the cost of more inspections and well repairs to customers. The regulators and the gas company failed to act.

Now, as pressure mounts to end the three-month-old disaster, California officials have intensified efforts to hold SoCal Gas accountable as well as the state regulators who didn’t heed warning signs. Last week, lawmakers at a state assembly committee hearing grilled officials from SoCal Gas and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) about what they knew before the leak began.  On Tuesday, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the air pollution control agency for much of southern California, sued the gas company for negligence."

Phil McKenna reports for InsideClimate News January 28, 2016.

Source: InsideClimate News, 02/01/2016