LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SoCalGas today has committed to work with state officials to develop a framework that will help guide the company's efforts to mitigate environmental impacts from the actual natural gas released from the leak at Aliso Canyon. SoCalGas President and CEO Dennis V. Arriola sent a letter to Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown confirming the company's commitment to begin this important work expeditiously – even before the actual amount of the leaked volume is determined. A comprehensive inventory of emissions will be taken after the leak has been stopped.
"SoCalGas recognizes the impact this incident is having on the environment," said Arriola. "I want to assure the public that we intend to mitigate environmental impacts from the actual natural gas released from the leak and will work with state officials to develop a framework that will help us achieve this goal."
SoCalGas' priority is to stop the leak while supporting the surrounding community and addressing environmental impacts. Other recent developments include:
Working to Stop the Leak
- The relief well has advanced, on-schedule, into the second of five operational phases and could be completed by late-February to late-March. Once completed, SoCalGas will use the relief well to pump fluids and cement into the bottom of the leaking well to permanently seal it.
- A second relief well site is being prepared as a backup operation, and drilling is expected to begin in January.
- The option to conduct additional efforts to pump fluids directly down the well to stop the flow of gas remains available, and further attempts to do so could be conducted in the coming week.
Reducing the Amount of Natural Gas Escaping from the Leak
- SoCalGas is withdrawing gas from the storage facility to decrease the pressure pushing gas out through the leak. The company has prioritized the use of gas from Aliso Canyon to supply customer demand and, as a result, is withdrawing natural gas from the field at about double the typical rate for this time of year.
- SoCalGas is also working with some of the world's most experienced engineering firms to develop innovative approaches to capturing the gas that is escaping from the leak.
Addressing the Community's Concerns
- SoCalGas opened its Porter Ranch Community Resource Center Dec. 16 in the Porter Ranch Town Center, 19731 Rinaldi Street, to provide services and information to the community.
- SoCalGas recently began providing several options of in-home air filtration to reduce residents' exposure to the odorant, which may produce symptoms in those sensitive to its smell.
- The company is also continuing to provide temporary accommodation for those who want to relocate until the leak is stopped.
About SoCalGas: Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.4 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. Southern California Gas Co. is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
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