Category: Aliso Canyon

Judge Denies County’s Bid To Block Aliso Canyon Restart

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The ruling paves the way for Gas Co. to restart operations at Aliso Canyon, which was closed down following a catastrophic leak.

Los Angeles County lost its bid Friday for a court order blocking the re-start of natural gas injections at the Aliso Canyon storage facility in Porter Ranch, the site of the largest methane leak in U.S. history.

State regulators announced last week that injections could resume in a limited fashion, primarily to prevent electrical supply shortages in Southern California. But county officials objected, saying the facility should not reopen until a study is completed on the cause of the 2015-16 gas leak. They also argued that further study is needed on the possible damage a large earthquake could cause to the storage field.

The county asked for a temporary restraining order blocking the resumption of gas injections, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Shepard Wiley Jr. ruled that he did not have the authority to “interfere” in the operation of a facility governed by the California Public Utilities Commission. Read more »

Notice of Joint Agency Workshop on Aliso Canyon Action Plan for Local Energy Reliability in Summer 2016

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The California Energy Commission will jointly conduct a workshop with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Independent System Operator (California ISO), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to discuss the near-term gas and electricity reliability risks to the Los Angeles Basin due to recent events at the Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) Aliso Canyon gas storage facility. The joint agency workshop will include an action plan describing the local reliability risks for the summer of 2016 and recommended near-term mitigation measures. The workshop is part of the 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update proceeding.
Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller will conduct the meeting jointly with CPUC President Michael Picker, along with representatives from the California ISO and LADWP. Chair Weisenmiller is the Energy Commission’s Lead Commissioner for electricity and natural gas issues. Other Commissioners from the Energy Commission and the CPUC may also attend and participate in the workshop. A quorum of Commissioners from the CPUC and/or the Energy Commission may be in attendance.
130924-California-Energy-Commission-LOGOFRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2016
1:00 pm
(Wheelchair Accessible)
Seating capacity is limited to 380
Remote Access Available by Computer or Phone via WebEx™
For details, go to www.energy.ca.gov/webcast.
The workshop will be streamed live at http://live.hosted.events/AlisoCanyon.

President Obama Creates Task Force to Investigate Aliso Canyon Gas Leak

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The task force aims to investigate how the Aliso Canyon leak happened, why it took so long to fix and how to prevent future leaks.

President Barack Obama has agreed to convene a multi- agency task force to investigate the cause of the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak and determine ways to prevent a similar incident from occurring, Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein announced today.

Boxer, who last week joined Feinstein in requesting that Obama set up the committee, said she is “gratified that President Obama understands that we must make sure that what happened in Aliso Canyon never happens again, and the task force he has appointed will report back in six months on how to do just that.”

She said Energy Department Secretary Ernest Moniz assured her Thursday that “the task force will work with state and local officials to resolve all outstanding issues, including whether Aliso Canyon can operate safely in the future, in order to protect our people and our planet.” Read more »

Breaking: Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Temporarily Controlled

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A relief well has reached the Southern California Gas Co. well that has been leaking since October, forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Signaling that relief is in sight for thousands of residents in Porter Ranch, Southern California Gas Co. crews temporarily controlled the leak of natural gas today from the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well that has been spewing gas since late October.

According to the utility, a relief well more than one mile deep intercepted the leaking well, and crews began pumping heavy fluids to control the flow of gas. Work will now begin to seal the well and permanently cap the leak.

“We have temporarily controlled the natural gas flow from the leaking well and begun the process of sealing the well and permanently stopping the leak,” said Jimmie Cho, SoCalGas senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity.

Gas Co. officials said that while the development is a “positive” step, cement will still need to be injected from the relief well — which is more than 8,600 feet — into the leaking well, a process expected to take several days. Once the gas company seals the leaking well with cement, the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources will have to confirm that the flow of gas has stopped. That process is expected to take several more days.

Once the state confirms that the leak has been halted, residents who have been relocated from their homes due to the leak will have eight days to move back to their homes. People living in temporary housing with extended leases will have until those leases run out to return home.

As of Wednesday, 4,645 households were living in temporary housing, at Gas Co. expense. According to the utility, 1,726 other households that had been relocated have already returned home. The utility has also installed 5,467 air scrubbers at Porter Ranch-area homes and performed “weatherization” work on 5,410 homes.

“We are so relieved that the Gas Co. was able (to) successfully control the flow of this leak and we look forward to it being certified safe for residents to move home,” said Paula Cracium, president of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council. “The community is exhausted after living with these effects for over a hundred days and excited to be back in their homes.”

The leak was discovered Oct. 23 and has had long-lasting repercussions, including multiple lawsuits and criminal charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The Gas Co. was charged with three counts of failing to report the release of hazardous materials from Oct. 23 to Oct. 26, and one count of discharging air contaminants, beginning Oct. 23 and continuing through today. The charges are all misdemeanors.

If convicted, the company could be fined up to $25,000 a day for each day it failed to notify the state Office of Emergency Services about the leak. It could be fined up to $1,000 per day for air pollution violations, prosecutors said.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have said they do not believe the gas leak poses any risk of long-term health issues, but the agency plans to continue monitoring air quality in the area even though the flow of gas has been temporarily stopped.

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Your 2016 Granada Hills North Neighborhood Newsletter is Now Available

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This year, we filled 8 pages to create the most informative newsletter we’ve ever created.

Some of the topics addressed include:

  • Robocalls
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Neighborhood Council Elections
  • A New Project at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill
  • Illegal Sign Posting
  • Neighborhood Watch News
  • and Aliso Canyon Gas Spill Updates

Click here to download the 2016 Newsletter, or just read it below.

Read more »

ARB oil and gas workshop may be crowded as a result of Aliso Canyon gas leak

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From http://www.examiner.com

A relatively obscure public workshop next week may be subject to increased scrutiny, criticism, and public participation because of a massive natural gas leak from a Southern California Gas Company gas storage field in Los Angeles County.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will be holding the fourth of a series of workshops regarding its draft Regulation for Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities. Developed as a consequence of California’s landmark climate change legislation, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), ARB has been working on regulations to address the control and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from such facilities for a couple of years now.

Workshops of this type are typically fairly routine, usually sparsely attended by representatives of the affected industries, regulatory personnel, and the occasional environmental group.

However, this will be the first workshop to be held to discuss the new GHG regulation since the disastrous failure of a gas well at Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon gas storage facility. Located near an upscale residential area known as Porter Ranch in Northridge, CA, the massive methane leak has so far spewed a mass equal to 2.2 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) since October of last year. Methane is one of the most powerful GHGs, with a global warming potential that is more than 25 times that of CO2.

As a result of odor complaints and reported illnesses, over 11,000 people have been temporarily relocated to unaffected areas as the company has struggled to control and stop the leak. On January 6, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency as a result of the leak and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has taken its own enforcement action against the company.

Given the public outcry and concern over this leak, which has attracted international attention, one can only conclude that the upcoming workshop will provide a very visible and convenient format for those demanding the closure and/or increased control of Aliso Canyon and other such facilities located elsewhere in the state.

The workshop is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to Noon on February 4, 2016. It will be held at the Sierra Hearing Room at Cal/EPA Headquarters on 1000 “I” Street in Sacramento, CA. The workshop will also be broadcast on the web and those participating in that manner will be able to submit comments and ask questions by email, or, they may participate by teleconference as well.

More information on participating in the workshop may be found here: GHG Workshop Details  Read more »