A Los Angeles-area injection well was permanently sealed on Feb. 18 and taken out of service, according to Southern California Gas. The leak was temporarily plugged earlier and SoCalGas finished pumping cement into the base of the well. Residents who were relocated to temporary housing because of the leak were able to begin returning home by Feb. 19, SoCalGas said.
Regulators are focused on determining the cause of the leak, which was discovered Oct. 23. It is believed to have been caused by a broken injection well pipe several hundred feet beneath the surface of the field, Reuters reported. Southern California Gas, a division of Sempra Energy, has begun inspecting its other Aliso Canyon wells, CEO Dennis Arriola said.
“We recognize the disruption the gas leak has caused to the residents of Porter Ranch and surrounding communities,” he said. “We are committed to earning back their trust and confidence over time through our actions, not our words.”
Southern California Gas pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor charges related to the leak, according to multiple outlets. It has been sued by the state of California and Reuters reported that over 20 lawsuits have been filed by residents as people complained of headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation from the odorants added to natural gas. State officials said the leak accounted for 25% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions from methane at its peak.