Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Update

The leak at Aliso Canyon was stopped earlier this year, but my office and I continue to work with the relevant state, local, and federal agencies to ensure that a similar incident will never harm our communities again. Check back here for regular updates.

  • UPDATE 1/24/17- On the morning of January 24, 2017, SoCalGas announced that it would begin withdrawing natural gas from its Aliso Canyon storage facility. These withdrawals are in accordance with the Aliso Canyon Winter Withdrawal Protocol established by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and  utilize only those wells that have been approved for use by the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR.) We want to emphasize that these are not reinjections; these are withdrawals to support reliability of the region’s natural gas and electricity systems. We are in contact with state and local agencies regarding this situation and will continue to post updates as we receive more information.
  • On January 17, 2017, the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) announced two public meetings to provide an opportunity for comment on the findings of the comprehensive gas storage well safety review conducted at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility and on the Division’s proposed minimum and maximum pressure limits for the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility. The public meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 2017 (5:30 PM – 9:00 PM) and Thursday, February 2, 2017 (5:30 PM – 9:00 PM) at the Hilton Woodland Hills, Trillium Room (6360 Canoga Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367) More information can be found here.
  • On November 1, 2016 SoCalGas requested regulatory approval from the State of California to bring 29 of the 114 wells at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility back online. We are working with local, state, and federal authorities to ensure that all guidelines and procedures are being followed during this process and that the safety of the surrounding community remains the top priority.
      • At this point in time, all 114 wells at Aliso Canyon have undergone a Comprehensive Safety Review of the safety of the storage wells mandated by California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources’ (DOGGR), utilizing independent experts. The requirements for that review can be found here.
      • The remaining 85 wells were mechanically sealed off from the storage reservoir per DOGGR's requirements.
      • Per SoCalGas: a new Aliso Canyon Community Advisory Council has been formed to improve outreach to the community. It consists of residents, business owners, and community leaders, as well as representatives from faith-based organizations, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, and other stakeholders. Additionally, an air quality notification system is now operational that will notify residents in the event of a reportable natural gas leak. You may register for notifications by visiting here or by calling 1-877-238-0092. 
      • State agencies must now review SoCalGas' full report addressing the requirements of the Comprehensive Safety Review and hear public comment regarding its request. As this process moves forward, we will post more information as it becomes available. 
  • On October 24, 2016 we spoke with state officials about the state of the facility and what will happen to it next.
      • Pursuant to the Governor's Order of January 6, 2016, all injection activity into the Aliso Canyon facility remains suspended until a "comprehensive review, utilizing independent experts, of the safety of the storage wells" is completed.
        • This comprehensive safety review requires that each of the 114 active wells in the Aliso Canyon facility either pass a thorough battery of tests in order to resume gas injection or be taken out of operation and isolated from the underground gas reservoir. The requirements can be found here.
      • California Department of Conservation (DOC), Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) developed a Checklist for Pre-Injection Safety Assurances, which can be found here. 
      • If the requirements for ‘Prior to Request for Authorization to Resume Injection’ are completed, state agencies must host a public meeting for members of the community to provide comments and ask questions. The public notice must be posted for 15 days. We will be on the lookout for the public notice and will distribute information about it when it materializes. Check back on this site or on my Facebook page for further updates.

  • **NOTE: This page is updated regularly to contain all information pertaining to the gas leak near porter Ranch, Ca. To receive email updates, please sign up for my e-newsletter here.
  • If you are experiencing trouble with reimbursements, relocation, or anything related to the gas leak, please send me an email here or call my office at (661) 255-5630 and we will make sure your issue is addressed.

 

  • On October 23, SoCalGas crews discovered a leak at one of the natural gas storage wells at its Aliso Canyon storage field. 
  • Upon learning of the incident, I instructed my staff to meet with representatives from SoCalGas and maintain close contact with relevant organizations to ensure that the repair and cleanup process was occuring in a timely and safe manner.
  • In November, staff from my district office began  attending the regular Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council meetings to hear from residents of Porter Ranch and address their concerns.
  • My goal as the representative from California's 25th Congressional District has been to make sure that the leak is sealed as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that the residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding areas are safe from long-term health issues. Because of the involvement of multiple state and local agencies, I made the determination that involving the federal government would complicate and possibly encumber the process.
  • In December, I spoke with the Chief Deputy Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District and voiced my concerns about students being exposed to the odorents from the gas leak. She provided me with an update on LAUSD's stance on the issue and assured me that my concerns would be alleviated. The next day, LAUSD announced that the students of the schools in Porter Ranch would be relocated in 2016.
  • In a conversation that my office had with representatives from SoCalGas on December 29, I learned that SoCalGas is in the third of five phases of relief well operations and the work remains on schedule to stop the leak in the late-February-to-late-March timeframe.
  • One of the challenges in drilling this relief well is to find a seven-inch pipe from about 1,500 feet away, several thousands of feet below ground – while avoiding others nearby.
  • The next challenge, faced in Phase Four, the Follow Phase, will be to maintain drilling at the proper distance, orientation and angle to the leaking well to follow it down to below 8,000 feet of measured depth. The Follow Phase will involve successive operations of drilling for depth and ranging to maintain the proper position.
  • In Phase Five, after SoCalGas intercepts the well at more than 8,500 feet of measured depth, we will pump heavy fluids and drilling mud into the bottom of the leaking well to stop the flow of gas up from its source, the reservoir. Once the flow of gas has been stopped, SoCalGas will pump cement into the well to permanently seal the leak. For a more complete description of the releif well operation, please visit the SoCaGas website.
  • In the meantime, I will continue to be involved with the process and will take any appropriate actions available to me to ensure the safety of the residents of Porter Ranch.
  • On January 2, 2016 SoCalGas added the following information regarding relief and relocation services to their website:
    • Special Notice: Some customers have reported to us that they have received calls from SoCalGas offering relocation services. We are NOT contacting customers in the area with that offer. We will only contact customers who have made a request for relocation or in-home air filtration.  If you receive a call, and are concerned about the offer, please call our hotline at 818-435-7707 or email us at AlisoCanyon @SoCalGas.com. If you are interested in receiving updates on Aliso Canyon, you can fill out a form here.

    • Air Filtration & Air Purification: To help with the odor problem, SoCalGas is offering air purification and weatherization services at no cost to residents in the Porter Ranch Community. The air purification units provided by SoCalGas inporporate activated carbon/charcoal filters to remove the natural gas odorant from your home and are certified by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). ARB has provided a website specifically for the Aliso Canyon event where residents can review the technologies and models available for air purification. Residents may choose either of the following:

      • Plug-In Portable Air Purifiers.  SoCalGas will provide ARB-Certified plug-in portable air cleaners that incorporate activated carbon/charcoal filters to remove the natural gas odorant from your home.  If you wish to purchase a certified California Air Resources Board (ARB) certified system separately, SoCalGas will fully reimburse you, but we ask that you please email SoCalGas at AlisoCanyon@SoCalGas.com for preapproval. 

      • In-Duct Air Purification.  SoCalGas’ licensed Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractor will provide whole-house air purification by replacing the standard air filter(s) in your HVAC system with a specially designed activated carbon filter that can remove the compounds found in natural gas and its odorant from the air in your home. In addition, the HVAC contractor will install a non-ozone generating air scrubber(s) in the HVAC plenum.
        For more information, to schedule installation or delivery of Air Filtration and Air Purification, or to schedule weatherization services, please call the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon hotline at 818-435-7707 or email us at AlisoCanyon@SoCalGas.com.

      • For further information regarding technical specifications of air purifiers, you can email ARB at aircleaners@arb.ca.gov or call ARB at 916-445-0753.

    • Temporary Relocation: For residents in the Porter Ranch community who wish to relocate, we are providing free, temporary housing accommodations, including locations that can accommodate residents with disabilities and people with access and functional needs. And for residents with pets, we have arranged pet-friendly locations. For more information, please call us at 877-238-9555 and indicate that you are a SoCalGas customer calling about an Aliso Canyon claim. 

  • For those interested. the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will hold a public hearing to consider the issuance of an Order for Abatement addressing a natural gas leak near Porter Ranch. The hearing will be held on Saturday, January 9 at 9:00 am at Granada Hills Charter High School (10535 Zelzah Avenue in Granada Hills.)

  • On Wednesday, January 6, Governor Brown issued a proclamation that declares the situation an emergency and details the administration's ongoing efforts to help stop the leak. My office is in close contact with the Governor's office, and as always I am prepared to take further action to make sure that the leak is sealed as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that the residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding areas are safe from long-term health issues. According to the Governor's office, he proclamation implements the following key orders:

    • All necessary and viable actions will be taken to ensure Southern California Gas Company: maximizes daily withdrawals of natural gas from the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility for use or storage elsewhere; captures leaking gas and odorants while relief wells are being completed; and identifies how it will stop the gas leak if relief wells fail to seal the leaking well, or if the existing leak worsens.

    • The state will: continue its prohibition against Southern California Gas Company injecting any gas into the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility until a comprehensive review of the safety of the storage wells and the air quality of the surrounding community utilizing independent experts is completed; expand its real-time monitoring of emissions in the community; convene an independent panel of scientific and medical experts to review public health concerns; and take all actions necessary to ensure the continued reliability of natural gas and electricity supplies in the coming months.

    • The California Public Utilities Commission will ensure that Southern California Gas Company covers costs related to the natural gas leak and its response, while protecting ratepayers; and the state will develop a program to fully mitigate the leak's emissions of methane funded by the Southern California Gas Company.

    • The state will promulgate emergency regulations for gas storage facility operators throughout the state, requiring: at least daily inspection of gas storage well heads using gas leak detection technology such as infrared imaging; ongoing verification of the mechanical integrity of all gas storage wells; ongoing measurement of annular gas pressure or annular gas flow within wells; regular testing of all safety valves used in wells; minimum and maximum pressure limits for each gas storage facility in the state; a comprehensive risk management plan for each facility that evaluates and prepares for risks, including corrosion potential of pipes and equipment. Additionally, the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission will submit to the Governor's Office a report that assesses the long-term viability of natural gas storage facilities in California.

  • UPDATE 1-8: On Friday morning I spoke with executives from SoCalGas, and reinforced the need to stop the leak as quickly as possible and to mitigate its effects so that the health of the residents of Porter Ranch can be protected. They informed me that their relief well operation in still on course to be complete by the February/March timeline, and that they offer odor mitigators to anyone who is interseted. 
    • For more information, to schedule installation or delivery of Air Filtration and Air Purification, or to schedule weatherization services, please call the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon hotline at 818-435-7707 or email them at AlisoCanyon@SoCalGas.com.
  • On Friday afternoon, I spoke with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. They reassured me that they have been aware of the leak since October. The also informed me that they are working closely with the California Public Utility Commission  to monitor the leak, and are unaware of anything additional they can do to speed up the repair and relief process. 
  • On Saturday morning I attended a Southern California Air Resources Board hearing in Granada Hills to hear from concerned residents and ensure that state agencies are making sure that the leak is stopped as quickly as possible.

  • On Saturday afternoon I took another tour of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, where the leak is occurring. I took note of SoCalGas’ efforts to resolve the issue and offered my support to do whatever I could to ensure similar events don’t occur in the future.

  • On Tuesday morning, I called a meeting with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and SoCalGas President and CEO Dennis Arriola in my Washington, D.C. office. The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that the Majority Leader is informed of the situation and behind me in taking action to prevent situations like the Aliso Canyon gas leak from happening in the future.

  • On Wednesday night I attended the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council's Community Forum. I went over what my office has been doing about the leak and reiterated that anyone experiecning problems with reimbursements or relocation should give my office a call at (661) 255-5630.

  • On Friday I attended the Governor's Office Town Hall in Porter Ranch to hear more from members of the community and stay up to speed on the situation at Aliso Canyon. My office has been in contact with the Governor's office and will continue to work with them to ensure that the leak is fixed quickly and that residents of Porter Ranch are kept safe and informed.

  • On Wedneday evening I attended the Chatsworth/Porter Ranch Government Affairs meeting to give an update on the gas leak and the legislation that I am working on to prevent similar incidences from happening in the future. 

  • After the meeting on Wednesday, I paid another visit to the Community Resource Center to get an update on the ongoing relocation and reimbursement efforts and to see if I could help any of the residents who were looking for help.

  • Thursday afternoon I toured the Honor Rancho natural gas facility in Santa Clarita. I visited the facility in August, but in light of the Aliso Canyon leak, I feel it is important to gather as much information as possible on natural gas and storage facilities, especially those that are near our community. 

  • After my tour, I attended  and spoke at the California Assembly Utility & Commerce committee hearing on the Porter Ranch gas leak. I discussed the need for accountability and responsible regulations to ensure that incidents like this one don't occur in the future.

  • On Friday night I gave an update on the gas leak at the Porter Ranch Gas Well Blowout Town Hall Meeting in Woodland Hills. I outlined my priorities throughout this crisis, which are to provide Porter Ranch with quality assistance, good information, and real solutions. If you are experiecning diificulties with relocation or reimbursement, please call my office.

  • The relief well operation is on track to intercept the leaking well and seal the leak by mid to late February. My office is working with state agencies to ensure that all relocated families can be successfully and efficiently moved back into thier homes in Porter Ranch once the leak is stopped.

  • On Tuesday, I introduced H.R. 4429, the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act. This legislation, which would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue adequate safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities, is the product of a long fact gathering mission that included many conversations with officials from state and federal agencies, tours of natural gas facilities, and more. As we approach a resolution on the Porter Ranch Gas Leak, it is time to move forward on comprehensive legislation to prevent another incident from happening in our communities ever again. More information can be found here.

  • On February 11, SoCalGas announced that the relief well had intercepted the leaking well at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, and early reports indicate that the leak has been temporarily stopped. There are still additional phases that must be completed before the leak can be declared completely stopped, but this is a big step in the right direction. 

  • On Friday the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railways, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials announced that it will grant a hearing that I requested regarding the causes of the Porter Ranch gas leak and the possibility of legislation that could prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. On Thursday, February 25, at 10 A.M. EST I will testify on behalf of Porter Ranch residents on the need for legislation, such as H.R. 4429, the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act.

  • On February 18, the State of California declared that the gas leak permanently sealed and that residents can begin returning to their homes. Now that the relief operation is complete, it is time to begin the process of recovering, investigating, and preventing crises like this one from ever happening in our communities again.

  • On  April 16, there was an oil spill at one of the wells that is separate from the natural gas storage facility that leaked last October. Cal-OES was alerted immediately, and the oil was cleaned up by end of day on Saturday. After speaking with relevant agencies and organizations, I can confirm that as of now the situation is contained and there is no need for alert. Should that change in any way, I will update this page on my Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RepresentativeSteveKnight/

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