Leak Discovered Friday In Aliso Canyon Pipeline

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – What was described as a minor leak was discovered in an above-ground pipeline at the embattled Aliso Canyon storage facility Friday afternoon.

In an email sent out to nearby residents, the Southern California Gas Company said crews discovered the natural gas leak in an 8-inch pipe during a routine inspection.

According to SoCalGas, crews were working to isolate the pipeline, which is not in a well, in order to stop the release of gas.

“The release is minor and does not pose a risk to safety, health or the environment,” the email read. “Methane detection levels on the fence line monitoring system are normal.”

There was no estimate on how long it would take to shut off the leak.

Aliso Canyon was the site of a historic methane leak that began in October 2015 and was not capped until February 2016. It emitted 109,000 metric tons of methane and displaced at least 7,000 Porter Ranch area residents for months. It also led to mass complaints of health issues ranging from headaches to cancer.

With more than 100 deep underground wells, Aliso Canyon is the largest natural gas storage site in the West and is considered critical to the Los Angeles area for home heating and to power gas-fired electricity plants during energy spikes.

However, the SoCalGas facility has been crippled since the blowout was discovered. Less than a third of the 113 wells at the aging former oil field have passed rigorous inspections. The remaining ones have been taken out of service and must pass state-mandated tests within a year or be permanently sealed.

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