The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee approved a bill Tuesday to comprehensively reform well standards at natural gas storage facilities across California.
The legislation is being considered in the wake of an uncontrolled leak at the Aliso Canyon facility which raged for four months, forcing the relocation of 5,000 families living in the nearby Porter Ranch community, necessitating the closure of two public schools and spewing more than 100,000 metric tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
Aliso Canyon is the largest of 14 natural gas storage facilities in the state.
SB 877 by Senator Fran Pavley would require continuous monitoring of natural gas concentrations to detect leaks, require the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to regularly inspect all natural gas storage wells, limit gas injection to the internal tubing rather than the entire well casing of wells, require the use of subsurface safety valves, and impose other needed safety standards.
“We know we can’t go back to business as usual,” Senator Pavley told the committee, which she chairs. “We’ve learned a lot since that leak. We cannot allow a leak like that to happen again.”
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