The county of Los Angeles requested today that the Los Angeles Superior Court block the reopening of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field unless and until the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources completes the legally required earthquake analysis it acknowledges is critically necessary.
Under State Bill 380, passed by the Legislature following the storage field’s 2015 leak, DOGGR is required to address and complete a health and safety analysis, along with a risk assessment/emergency response plan before reopening Aliso Canyon.
Nationally credited seismic experts, consulted by DOGGR, concluded in December 2016 that comprehensive seismic studies are required for an effective risk management plan for Aliso Canyon.
DOGGR claims that the seismic safety analysis can be done after the facility reopens. The county disagrees. This work, estimated to take six months to complete, is essential in order to prevent disaster in the event a big earthquake strikes the area, as seen nearby in the San Fernando Valley in 1971 and 1994.
“It’s critical to the health and safety of thousands of people for the seismic study and risk assessment/emergency response plan be completed before reopening, not afterward, when it could be too late,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said.
“Today’s action reflects the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous commitment to protect the health and safety of our residents and to require the State to complete the legally-mandated studies and mitigate all risks to the maximum extent possible,” Barger said.
In addition, the county requested that the facility not be reopened until DOGGR has complied with the California Environmental Protection Act. CEQA requires an environmental impact study before a project of this magnitude is opened. DOGGR has failed to address CEQA’s requirements.