LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced continued progress on its commitment to help residents who relocated return to their normal lives as seamlessly as possible. To date, more than 3,800 relocated residents have returned home and SoCalGas continues its work to make the transition home as smooth as possible for residents who remain in temporary housing.
"When the leaking well at our Aliso Canyon storage facility was sealed in February we committed to take actions to help relocated residents return home safely, expand resources available to the community, investigate and understand what caused the leak, ensure the integrity of all wells, and address greenhouse gas emissions," said Gillian Wright, SoCalGas vice president for customer services. "SoCalGas has a long history of supporting the communities we serve during challenging times and we remain focused on assisting residents who remain in temporary housing, those who have returned home, and the majority of people who stayed in their neighborhoods."
SoCalGas is Promptly Reviewing and Processing Reimbursement Requests
Today, SoCalGas released more than 4,100 approved reimbursement checks, totaling $5.8 million to temporarily relocated residents. To date, the company has reviewed and processed more than 29,000 reimbursements totaling more than $57 million. Nearly 300 SoCalGas reimbursement processors and community liaisons are working around-the-clock to respond to inquiries from residents and to process reimbursement requests.
SoCalGas Continues to Provide Information on Community Air Quality
Earlier this week, SoCalGas launched a new online resource, "Understanding Indoor Air Quality in Your Home," for residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding communities who have questions about indoor air quality. This resource provides links to independent information from the Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board and the American Lung Association about general indoor air quality, common household products that may affect indoor air quality, and strategies to improve the air quality of homes, which includes the importance of keeping homes ventilated.
SoCalGas has also delivered or installed more than 38,000 air filtration systems in more than 10,500 homes, 60 schools and 160 businesses in neighborhoods near its Aliso Canyon storage facility since January 11, 2016. The final deliveries were made this week, fulfilling every approved request SoCalGas received for in home air filtration systems.
Since October 30, 2015, regulatory air quality and health agencies have independently analyzed more than 5,200 outdoor air samples in the Porter Ranch area. These experts consistently report that the data indicate the air quality in the community is at typical, pre-leak levels, similar to elsewhere in the Los Angeles basin.
Throughout the incident, air samples for benzene and other compounds were found to be at, or near levels seen in the rest of the county, and below levels of concern. Furthermore, third party indoor air screening of more than 70 homes showed typical levels of methane, and did not detect mercaptans or other sulfur compounds associated with natural gas at any levels.
The once-leaking well has been confirmed sealed since February 18, 2016. The California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District continue to provide near-real time methane monitoring that is available here.
Community Cleaning Continues
SoCalGas has completed assessments on more than 600 homes reporting the presence of brown spots believed to be related to the once-leaking well. Cleaning has been completed at more than 180 houses and over 100 additional homes have been scheduled. As homes continue to be assessed, additional cleanings will be scheduled. Last month, SoCalGas completed cleaning private schools, and community playgrounds near the facility. Sampling results reviewed by both a toxicologist and a medical expert suggest that the brown spots do not pose a health risk. To date, no brown spots associated with the Aliso Canyon storage facility have been identified indoors.
Helping residents who relocated return to their normal lives as seamlessly as possible is one of five commitments SoCalGas made to emphasize the company's dedication to restoring trust and continuing support for the community.
About Southern California Gas Co: Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 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. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words like "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "intends," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "goals," "outlook," "maintain" or similar expressions, or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, and national economic, competitive, political, legislative, legal, and regulatory conditions, decisions, and developments; actions and the timing of actions, including general rate case decisions, new regulations, issuances of permits to construct, operate and maintain facilities and equipment and to use land, franchise agreements, and licenses for operation, by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, California Energy Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, cities and counties, and other regulatory, governmental and environmental bodies in the United States; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction, maintenance and capital projects, including risks in obtaining, maintaining or extending permits, licenses, certificates and other authorizations on a timely basis and risks in obtaining adequate and competitive financing for such projects; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers and delays in regulatory agency authorization to recover costs in rates from customers; the availability of electric power and natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the North American transmission grid, moratoriums on the ability to withdraw natural gas from or inject natural gas into storage facilities, pipeline explosions and equipment failures; energy markets; the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices, the impact on the value of our natural gas storage assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for natural gas storage services; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; capital markets conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments, and inflation and interest rates; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, natural gas storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; terrorist attacks that threaten system operations and critical infrastructure; wars; weather conditions, natural disasters, catastrophic accidents, equipment failures and other events that may disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gasses and harmful emissions, and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries some of which may not be covered by insurance; the inability or determination not to enter into long-term supply and sales agreements or long-term firm capacity agreements due to insufficient market interest, unattractive pricing or other factors; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/socalgas-continues-to-deliver-on-commitment-to-help-residents-who-relocated-return-to-their-normal-lives-as-seamlessly-as-possible-300248687.html
SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.