SoCalGas first admitted its Aliso Canyon Underground Storage Facility had safety problems in December 2010. SoCalGas expressed more concerns in November 2014. “The four-month long gas well blowout shows SoCalGas’ total neglect for safety,” said attorney Patricia Oliver.
“SoCal Gas must be forced to complete all repairs before forcing the residents of Porter Ranch to return,” says Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaking on behalf of thousands of Porter Ranch families. “The Santa Susana earthquake fault lines intersect every gas injection well in this facility, magnifying the risks to human health and property values in Porter Ranch and surrounding communities,” reports Kennedy. “SoCalGas admits the subsurface safety valve on the well that blewout was removed in 1979, and yet SoCalGas reported its presence to state regulators through 2014. How can the community be assured that SoCal hasn't told the regulators the same story for the ninety plus other wells in Aliso Canyon that coukd be ticking time bombs?” asks Kennedy.
No one should be asked to return until SoCalGas has shown the Aliso Canyon facility is operating safely. This is not a question of whether SoCalGas should be allowed to store natural gas, but an independent audit of the facility to allow full disclosure of whether it is safe to return.
“Before anyone is asked to return, the people of Porter Ranch have a right to know is it safe? This requires SoCalGas to answer many questions including the following: (1) how many aging wells are damaged from the movement on the fault lines; (2) how many wells have safety valves; (3) how many aging wells need new casings; (4) how many aging wells have operational sub-surface safety valves; and (5) how fast is methane migrating into Porter Ranch from surface and underground operations. Until SoCalGas can answer these questions, we cannot say it is safe to return home,” said attorney Patricia Oliver.
About Kennedy & Madonna
Kennedy & Madonna, LLP is an environmental law firm that specializes in representing communities that have been impacted by pollution. The firm uses a variety of legal tools including federal citizen suits, administrative challenges and tort law to hold polluters accountable for their actions. The firm was formed in 2000 by founding partners Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Kevin J. Madonna. For more information, visit www.kennedymadonna.com.
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