What caused the Aliso Canyon gas leak? A new study shows that SoCalGas’s negligence resulted in the pain and suffering of hundreds of Porter Ranch residents.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) have released a “root-cause analysis” today finding Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) failed to properly monitor and maintain the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility for more than 40 years. This failure ultimately led to the worst gas leak in U.S. history and exposed Porter Ranch, surrounding neighborhoods and their residents to more than 100,000 tons of methane gas.
Among its findings, The Blade Energy Partners study discovered:
- There were more than 60 casing leaks at Aliso Canyon before October of 2015 going back over forty years. SoCalGas failed to investigate any of the earlier leaks.
- Water corrosion of the casing used in well SS25 was the main cause of the blowout on October 23, 2015.
- SoCalGas performed zero risk assessment focused on the well’s integrity.
“This study shows that SoCal Gas knew about leaks at Aliso Canyon for more than 40 years, but instead of fixing the problem they sat back and let it happen over and over again,” said PARRIS Law Firm attorney R. Rex Parris. “SoCalGas’ long history of showing a complete disregard not only for the safety of the communities near the defective Aliso Canyon wells but also for the adverse short and long term impacts on the health of its customers, is shameful,” Panish Shea & Boyle attorney Brian Panish added. “For decades, the utility had full knowledge that the safety of its pipelines had been jeopardized and yet failed to take any steps to prevent the 2015 Porter Ranch Gas Well Blowout or warn the public of the likelihood of a catastrophic event even occurring.”
The law firms representing the families, residents, and homeowners impacted by the Porter Ranch gas well blowout issued the following statement:
“These findings confirm what we knew all along: SoCalGas failed in its basic responsibilities, SoCalGas failed to warn the public, and SoCalGas failed the people at every turn. Tens-of-thousands of individuals were impacted and suffered as a result of the Aliso Canyon catastrophe – they’ve suffered from their health, endured months of displacement from their homes during the holidays, and experienced property loss. The future impact on these communities remains unclear. Questions remain as to the exact chemical nature of the additives in the gas, and with the wells so close to fresh water there is no telling the exact nature of the environmental impact here. One thing is clear – if SoCalGas had simply done its most basic job, this catastrophe would have been avoided.”