Southern California Gas Co. has resumed limited operations at its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in Porter Ranch, the site of a massive methane leak in 2015 that forced more than 8,000 residents from their homes.
SoCalGas disclosed the development Monday in a letter to north San Fernando Valley residents. The California Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources announced on July 19 that the site was safe to function at a reduced capacity following months of testing by the agencies.
“SoCalGas has worked diligently to meet, and in many cases exceed, the requirements of the state’s year-and-a-half long safety review,” SoCalGas said in its letter to residents.
L.A. County attorneys on July 24 filed a lawsuit to prevent the site’s reopening, claiming that SoCalGas had failed to meet the state’s requirement of producing a comprehensive emergency management plan and neglected to file mandated safety and environmental impact reports. The petition was initially denied on July 25 by the Superior Court of Los Angeles but was accepted on appeal, only to be overturned again on Saturday. A second appeal by L.A. County was denied Monday.