The Southern California Gas Company self-reported a “small” leak of unidentified material on Monday, Nov. 21, from the east story facility it manages in Aliso Canyon near Porter Ranch.
“As a result of a mechanical tool malfunction, a very small amount of material used as part of the well workover process was released on a well pad at Aliso Canyon,” the company said in a released statement.
“No injuries were reported. The release has been stopped. Out of an abundance of caution, one of our contractors temporarily evacuated its employees from the well pad. [State agency] OES has been made aware. There is no risk to the health and safety of Porter Ranch and the surrounding community.”
Aliso Canyon was the site the largest methane gas leak in US history, unleashing more than 100,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere from Oct. 23, 2015 until the leaking well was permanently capped in February. Thousands of Porter Ranch residents became ill and/or had to be temporarily relocated from their homes.
The Gas Company has sought to resume injecting gas into wells at the facility. State agencies The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources and California Public Utilities Commission will determine if SoCalGas can do so under new, stricter guidelines.
Local community organizations opposing the resumption of Aliso Canyon continue to push for its permanent shutdown.
Alexandra Nagy, spokeswoman for Food & Water Watch, pointed out the Gas Company release was “vague.”
“It provides no real information about the nature of the release, but rather highlights the danger posed to workers at the facility,” Nagy said.
She said that after the announcement, residents said there was an increase in negative health affects and that they “continue to distrust SoCalGas,” and feel every accident puts workers and nearby residents in unnecessary danger.
“That’s why residents are calling on Gov. Brown to reject SoCalGas application to resume injections at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility. The facility still leaks on average twice daily and thousands of residents are still sick,” Nagy said, in a statement.
“SoCalGas is rushing to reopen Aliso Canyon but can’t go a day without a leak or an accident. SoCalGas continues to make false promises about safety, but we know Aliso Canyon will never be safe. It’s time to stop these dangerous practices and move to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.”