SoCal Gas Company Fined $2.25 Million for Pipeline Safety Violations

Aerial view of the Aliso Canyon gas leak, two months after the incident began.
EARTHWORKS (Aliso Canyon methane leak Credit: Earthworks) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Southern California Gas Company was fined $2.25 million due to delayed fixes on corrosion control systems that were found during a gas operation inspection in the Harbor Area and Mid-City.

The inspection took place in April and May 2015 by the Safety Enforcement Division for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), during which the CPUC found 45 safety violations. According to the citation, between 2011 and 2015 SoCal Gas Company failed to repair 125 deficient corrosion prevention systems within the required 15 months. CPUC fined the gas company for 45 of those 125 deficiencies that exceeded two years, reporting that they posed unacceptable risk to safe operations.

Months after the April and May 2015 inspections, a gas well blew out at the company’s Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility in the north end of the San Fernando Valley near Porter Ranch. The well rupture led to the uncontrolled release of more than 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas and the relocation of more than 2,000 families outside of the area.

CPUC’s citation notes that the violation was not willful, and Southern California Gas Company has taken highest responsibility to address the problem by implementing system-wide corrective actions.

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