Southern California Gas Co. crews Wednesday sealed a small methane leak at the Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility near Porter Ranch.
According to SoCalGas spokesman Chris Gilbride, crews “installed a valve on the 2-inch threaded connection where methane was detected, stopping the slight release of gas.”
An inspection using infra-red cameras and overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission, confirmed that the leak had been stopped.
Gas Co. officials said the minor leak, which was detected Saturday, amounted to less than one cubic foot of gas — not enough to pose a threat to public health or the environment.
Gilbride said the recent rains triggered a very slight release of methane previously trapped beneath the soil following a four-month methane leak in late 2015 and early 2016 that emitted 109,000 metric tons of methane and displaced at least 7,000 Porter Ranch area residents for months.
That leak at the 3,600-acre underground storage facility was not capped until early February. Scientists said it was the largest methane leak in U.S. history.
Gilbride noted that a standard home pilot light on a water heater consumes about 12 cubic feet per day, more than 10 times the amount released by the latest leak.
SoCalGas has requested state approval to resume natural gas injections at Aliso Canyon, while neighbors and environmental activists want it shut down permanently.
–City News Service
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