Environment & Science

SoCal Gas pleads not guilty in Porter Ranch gas leak

This overhead photo shows the leaking Aliso Canyon well pad near the Porter Ranch community on Dec. 17, 2015. SoCalGas has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges from the gas leak.
This overhead photo shows the leaking Aliso Canyon well pad near the Porter Ranch community on Dec. 17, 2015. SoCalGas has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges from the gas leak.
Earthworks via Flickr Creative Commons

Southern California Gas Co. has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges stemming from a weeks-long leak of gas from a storage well that led nearby Los Angeles residents to relocate.

The utility entered the pleas Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in suburban Santa Clarita.

The complaint includes three counts of failing to report the release of a hazardous material and one count of discharge of air contaminants.

If convicted, the company could be fined up to $1,000 per day for air pollution violations and up to $25,000 for each of the three days it didn't notify the state Office of Emergency Services of the leak.

The leak was discovered in late October and was temporarily stopped last week. A permanent cement seal has yet to be certified.