State regulators block SoCalGas from delaying safety testing at Aliso Canyon gas leak site

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The boundary of Southern California Gas Company property, where Aliso Canyon Storage Field is located, is seen on Dec. 22, 2015. (DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

The boundary of Southern California Gas Company property, where Aliso Canyon Storage Field is located, is seen on Dec. 22, 2015. (DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

State regulators have blocked Southern California Gas Co.’s effort to delay required safety testing at the company’s Aliso Canyon storage field, the site of a record-setting gas leak that spewed more than 100,000 tons of heat-trapping methane into the atmosphere and sickened residents of the nearby Porter Ranch neighborhood.

The company asked Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration to temporarily suspend a requirement that all gas storage wells at Aliso be tested every two years, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and associated stay-at-home orders, newly released documents show.

The state’s oil and gas regulator, known as CalGEM, denied the request Monday.

State Oil and Gas Supervisor Uduak-Joe Ntuk said in a letter that the well testing requirements “are a central part of the comprehensive regulations that CalGEM adopted in response to the Aliso Canyon well blow out incident, and they are central to CalGEM’s commitment that all possible steps will be taken to ensure safe operation of underground gas storage projects.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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