Environment & Science

LA City Councilman Englander wants Aliso Canyon to close after 2 new leaks

Officials from the Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources and California Public Utilities Commission demonstrate an infra-ref camera at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility near Porter Ranch on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.
Officials from the Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources and California Public Utilities Commission demonstrate an infra-ref camera at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility near Porter Ranch on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Two new gas leaks were plugged in Aliso Canyon this weekend. SoCal Gas says the leaks were minor — and not its fault.
 
Workers say they found the leaks coming from equipment operated by Crimson Resource Management, a Denver-based company that produces oil and gas.
 
SoCalGas says it alerted Crimson when it found the first leak coming from a 3-inch line on May 24. The leak was stopped Saturday.

SoCal Gas found the second leak coming from an open valve on a well on June 1 and plugged that valve.

That doesn't reassure L.A. City Councilmember Mitch Englander, who represents District 12, an area that includes Porter Ranch, Northridge, Granada Hills and Chatsworth. He wants the California Department of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources to investigate. 

"Is this ordinary maintenance? Was this negligence? Malfeasance? We need to know exactly what happened. What did they know and when did they know it?" Englander tells KPCC.

More than that, he wants the natural gas storage facility to be shut down.

"We should not have facilities like this in populated communities. We've had numerous leaks including this latest one. This facility should just never be reopened," Englander says.

The Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility was the site, in 2015, of the nation's largest gas  blowout. Nearly 100,000 metric tons of gas were released into the atmosphere over many months.

Englander says his office recently received complaints from constituents, who have been experiencing symptoms similar to the ones they felt during that blowout: nausea, headaches, body aches nosebleeds.

He would, at least, like to see real-time monitoring of every valve on the well.