SoCal Gas to Pay $4 Million for Failing to Immediately Report Aliso Canyon Gas Leak

Southern California Gas Company will pay $4 million for failing to immediately report a gas leak at its Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility.


“This agreement ensures that Southern California Gas Co. is held accountable for its criminal actions for failing to immediately report the leak,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.

“Our office has helped bring the Aliso Canyon facility into compliance, keeping in mind that public safety is of the upmost importance,” she said. “Going forward the protections put in place by this agreement create a safer facility for its employees, the environment and the surrounding communities.”

The company pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of failing to immediately report the October 23, 2015, gas leak to the California Office of Emergency Services and to the local Certified Unified Program Agency.

Pursuant to the plea, SoCal Gas will be ordered to pay $307,500 which includes the maximum fine of $75,000 plus a penalty assessment of $232,500.

The company could face a more serious criminal penalty in the future if the same unlawful conduct occurs.

As part of the agreement, the company will be required to install and maintain a new, infrared methane monitoring system at the Aliso Canyon site that will cost between $1.2 and $1.5 million.

Real-time pressure monitors also will be placed at each gas well as required by the state.

The settlement requires that an outside company be retained to test and certify that both systems are working properly.

Under the agreement, six full-time employees will be hired to operate and maintain the new leak detection systems 24 hours a day.

The total cost for these positions will be approximately $2.25 million for the next three years.

The agreement requires the company to revise and adopt new reporting policies for actual and threatened releases of hazardous materials to the appropriate agencies.

It mandates training courses on proper notification procedures for all SoCal Gas employees who work at natural gas storage facilities within Los Angeles County.

In addition to the $307,500 fine and penalty, SoCal Gas will pay $246,672.88 for the cost of the investigation and emergency response by the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Health and Hazardous Materials Division.

Copyright © Corporate Crime Reporter
In Print 48 Weeks A Year

Built on Notes Blog Core
Powered by WordPress