Description: Action to compel owner and operator of gas storage fields in southern California to install safety equipment.
California v. Southern California Gas Co.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/25/2016 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Brought by Los Angeles County to Force SoCalGas to Take Safety Measures at Gas Wells. Los Angeles County and the People of California, acting through the Los Angeles County Counsel, commenced a lawsuit against Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to compel SoCalGas to install subsurface safety shut-off valves on the active gas wells and distribution pipelines it owns and operates in the county. Those facilities include wells in the Aliso Canyon gas storage field where the largest gas leak in U.S. history occurred over the course 112 days beginning in October 2015. The plaintiffs also sought civil penalties, response costs, punitive and exemplary damages, and attorney fees. The plaintiffs asserted causes of action for public nuisance, unfair competition, and breaches of a franchise agreement and a lease agreement, and for damages under the County Code. The complaint alleged that the methane released during the Aliso Canyon leak would exacerbate the impacts of climate change and affect the health and well-being of the County’s citizens, even after the leak ended. The complaint also asserted that the four-month leak contributed roughly the same amount of warming as the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the entire country of Lebanon.