Sunday, January 31, 2016

SoCal Gas Knew Aliso Canyon Wells Were Deteriorating a Year Before Leak


More than 400 facilities holding huge storehouses of natural gas get little regulatory oversight as their infrastructure ages.

Brian Seligman protests the methane leak in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles
Brian Seligman, protesting at a California Air Quality Management meeting, echoes the sentiments of many who fear many aging natural gas storage facilities could produce similar disasters. Credit: Reuters
Earlier this week, the massive methane leak spewing from an underground natural gas storage facility in California’s Aliso Canyon passed a symbolic milestone: its duration exceeded BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now, a growing number of environmentalists, engineers and industry watchdogs say the disaster on the outskirts of Los Angeles could happen elsewhere. There are  more than 400 underground natural gas storage sites spread across 31 states, and, like Aliso Canyon, decades-old equipment is deteriorating at many of them.