Judge says gas stor­age site can re­open

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

LOS AN­GE­LES — A Cal­i­for­nia ap­peals court judge ruled Sat­ur­day that South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Gas Co. can re­sume oper­a­tions at its Aliso Canyon nat­u­ral gas stor­age fa­cil­ity, the source of the big­gest meth­ane leak in the coun­try’s his­tory.

On Fri­day, Los An­ge­les County had been granted a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der that would have halted the re­open­ing. But a judge or­dered the stay lifted on Sat­ur­day af­ter the gas com­pany filed a mo­tion op­pos­ing the stay.

Chris Gil­bride, a spokesman for South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Gas, said the Aliso Canyon fa­cil­ity has been deemed safe to op­er­ate by state reg­u­la­tors and the courts. He said the agency has made ex­ten­sive up­grades to its in­fra­struc­ture, tech­nol­ogy and safety prac­tices.

“To­day’s de­ci­sion by the Court of Ap­peals is the right one,” he said in a state­ment emailed to the Los An­ge­les Times. “Over the last 18 months, Aliso Canyon has un­der­gone what state reg­u­la­tors have called the most com­pre­hen­sive safety re­view in the coun­try.”

In 2015, a rup­tured well at the Aliso Canyon fa­cil­ity, near Porter Ranch, be­gan spew­ing tons of gas and even­tu­ally be­came the na­tion’s big­gest-ever meth­ane gas leak. It took four months to fix the rup­ture.

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