LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Attorney General Kamala Harris has added her name to the list of people suing Southern California Gas Co. over the continuing gas leak in Porter Ranch, alleging the utility violated state health and safety laws by failing to control the leak and report it to proper authorities.
The lawsuit contends that the leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility has spewed 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere, threatening the state’s effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“The impact of this unprecedented gas leak is devastating to families in our state, our environment and our efforts to combat global warming,” Harris said Tuesday, Feb. 2. “Southern California Gas Co. must be held accountable. This gas leak has caused significant damage to the Porter Ranch community as well as our statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the impacts of climate change.
“My office will continue to lead this cross-jurisdictional enforcement action to ensure justice and relief for Californians and our environment,” she said.
SoCalGas issued a statement saying company is “working hard to both stop the leak and address our neighbors’ concerns. Beyond that, we do not comment on pending litigation and will respond to the lawsuit through the judicial process.”
The city and county of Los Angeles have already filed suit against SoCalGas over the leak, which was discovered Oct. 23.
The Gas Co. is in the process of drilling a relief well that will intersect with the leaking pipe, allowing the company to pump material into the pipe to seal the leak. The process is expected to take until at least late February to complete.