FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2017
Contact: Alexandra Nagy, (818) 633-0865, [email protected]
State Regulators Endanger Families by Allowing Aliso Canyon Storage Facility to Reopen
The announcement today by the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow injections at Aliso Canyon storage facility is a shock to the community that continues to suffer daily from health problems associated with the facility. This does three things:
- It ignores requirements by the LA County Supervisors, Health Department and Fire Department that a root-cause analysis, long-term health study, seismic study and CEQA analysis should be completed.
- It minimizes the serious health effects still felt by residents from the largest gas blowout in U.S. history.
- It ignores the findings by four independent studies, including one by L.A. County, that Aliso Canyon storage facility isn’t necessary for energy reliability.
The California Energy Commission Chairman, Robert Weisenmiller, also stated today that he plans to phase out the Aliso Canyon over the next ten years. This is not fast enough as daily leaks, accidents, and spills pose a serious threat to nearby communities.
Statement by Alexandra Nagy, Food & Water Watch
“Governor Brown’s administration has sold out families in the North San Fernando Valley by allowing Aliso Canyon to reopen, even at a limited capacity. All operations at the Aliso Canyon storage facility are dangerous and thousands of residents are still sick from the 2015 blowout and ongoing leaks at the facility.
“Governor Brown’s administration is recklessly allowing this facility to reopen without addressing what caused the blowout, the seismic risk to the facility or the long-term health effects of this gas field near densely populated areas.
“SoCalGas and State agencies have failed to prove that the Aliso Canyon facility is necessary to provide a reliable source of energy for the L.A. Basin. None of the blackouts that the company warns of have occurred. In fact, SoCalGas shorted the supply in January by ordering less gas on the interstate pipelines in order to justify withdrawing from Aliso Canyon as reported by the LA Times and confirmed by the L.A. County energy reliability study. No investigation was made into the cause of the manufactured shortages and withdrawals on January 24 and 25, a failure of the Public Utilities Commission.
“Brown’s family ties to Sempra, the parent company of SoCalGas, proved too powerful as his sister Kathleen sits on the Board. This entire disaster has been marked by the repeated failure of the regulating agencies and Governor Brown to hold SoCalGas responsible for their actions, and allow injections is the nail in the coffin for the community.
“Nothing short of the immediate shut down of Aliso Canyon will protect residents from harm caused by this facility.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.