The Los Angeles City Council called Wednesday on Gov. Gavin Newsom to close the Playa del Rey natural gas storage facility, which experts believe is at high risk of tsunamis, wildfire and endangering residents.
The resolution — which was introduced by Councilman Mike Bonin and passed with 13 yes votes and two members absent — noted that a 2018 study by the California Council on Science and Technology found that the facility “stands out as a facility with relatively higher risk to health and safety than the other facilities in California.”
The site at 8141 Gulana Ave. is close to LAX and has a large population living nearby, and in the event of a gas leak, could become an environmental disaster, the study found.
Councilman Mike Bonin, in a Twitter post Wednesday morning, wsrote: “The facility poses a risk to the environment, nearby neighborhoods, and the regional economy. We must move aggressively to get off fossil fuels, and we must create a just transition to a clean energy economy. We call on Gov Newsom to acknowledge the risks of this facility, and move quickly to shut it down.”
Officials want to prevent a leak similar to the 2015 Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility methane leak, which forced the evacuation of 8,000 people. It was deemed one of the worst natural gas leaks in the United States and one of the worst environmental catastrophes in California history, the resolution notes.
“As Los Angeles gets ready to finalize a plan for reaching 100% renewable energy, it is time for the governor to do the same,” said Food & Water Watch Southern California organizer Ethan Senser in a March 17 statement after the resolution was introduced. “But SoCalGas’ site at Playa del Rey is not the only dirty gas facility with no place in our clean energy future.”