Gas Leak Fears Plague Playa Del Rey

MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) – Officials in Playa Del Rey and surrounding neighborhoods are concerned that a gas leak on the scale of the 2015 Aliso Canyon leak could happen there.

The Manhattan Beach City is asking Southern California Gas Company to provide it answers regarding the underground storage facilities in Playa Del Rey. SoCal Gas representatives will address the city council at its meeting Tuesday night.

Gwenn Sayer, a former aerospace engineer and real estate manager who has lived near the SoCal Gas storage field in Playa Vista for 18 years was one of several residents who told CBS2 they often smell gas in the area.

“I’m a little concerned, definitely, because, you don’t know,” Sayer said.

“Yesterday we did have an odor of gas in the area, but, we get that periodically,” she added.

In October of 2015, a massive natural gas leak at the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon underground storage field near Porter Ranch lasted nearly four months and caused thousands of people to relocate.

“Right now, we believe it’s a matter of profits over safety,” Manhattan Beach City Councilor Wayne Powell said. Manhattan Beach is about seven miles south of Playa Del Rey.

Powell asked SoCal Gas to send a representative to Tuesday’s city council meeting to explain to residents what the utility is doing to prevent an Aliso Canyon-style leak from occurring in Playa Del Rey.

“It could definitely happen, because this facility is much older, and they don’t have the shut off valves, the sub surface shutoff valves, that would prevent such an incident,” Powell said.

“We want assurances. We don’t want talk. We don’t want PR, hype. We want them to say what they’re going to do to put safety valves to prevent an Aliso Canyon Porter Ranch disaster.”

The meeting comes a day after SoCal Gas issued an advisory that asked customers to reduce natural gas usage amid concerns of gas and electricity shortages. The advisory was lifted on Tuesday.

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