In late October 2015, one of 114 gas wells operated by SoCal Gas failed. It was the start of what ultmately became the largest-ever uncontrolled release of natural gas in U.S. history. In all, more than 100 metric tons of natural gas and other substances were released into the atmosphere.
And it went on for months. SoCal Gas didn’t seal the well until February 2016. By then, more than 8,000 households had evacuated from Porter Ranch and adjacent neighborhoods. Thousands of individuals and companies have sued SoCal Gas alleging physical or financial damage — and those lawsuits dealing with individual claims were not part of Wednesday’s settlement
The Southern California Gas Co. has tentatively reached a settlement with California and the city and county of Los Angeles to pay $119.5 million for the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas well blowout.
In a joint press conference with Los Angeles city and county leaders, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the settlement and how officials plan to spend the money.
One key provision of the settlement is that SoCal Gas cannot pass on the costs to ratepayers. In addition, Becerra said SoCal Gas will reimburse the local, county and state governments’ legal fees, meaning taxpayers will not foot the bill for all the litigation that went into the settlement.
WHO DID SETTLE ?
- The City of Los Angeles
- L.A. County
- California’s Attorney General (on behalf of the California Air Resources Board)
Also, the settlement resolves the county’s lawsuit against the state Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources aka DOGGR. The county had sued the state over its approval for the Aliso Canyon storage field to return to limited operations last year.
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