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The blowout at the largest natural gas-storage facility in the West has uprooted thousands of residents and spewed more than 2 million tons of climate-changing methane.
LA County’s District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed misdemeanor criminal charges Tuesday against Southern California Gas Co. for failing to immediately report the natural gas leak that has been gushing nonstop nearly 15 weeks.
State regulators are investigating the cause of the leak, but they said they won’t know until the well is plugged, which is expected by the end of the month.
In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on Monday, Central Arkansas Water said Exxon Mobil doesn’t understand the weight of the situation.
California’s attorney general has added her name to the long list of parties suing Southern California Gas Co. over a massive out-of-control natural gas leak.
The Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department endorsed the proposal, which lets Exxon Mobil run up to 30 truck trips a day for as long as six months to move the marooned crude.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District sued the utility for creating a public nuisance. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, further contends that “as a result of their negligence, people were injured,” said Kurt Wiese, the agency’s general counsel.
A refinery spokesman said no one was injured and there was no cause for alarm following the 3 p.m. outage. Non-essential personnel were “dismissed” from the facility.
In September 2004, waves whipped up by Hurricane Ivan triggered an underwater mudslide, which toppled a Taylor Energy-owned platform and buried a cluster of its oil wells under mounds of sediment.
The burn-off plan is being abandoned over fears that it could not be done safely, SoCalGas, which is owned by Sempra Energy, said in a statement.