Environmental Expert & Aliso Canyon Gas Leak

fg_000009025108The Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Independent Expert Scientific Advisory Panel will investigate the well failure at Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility. The panel will include Dean Baker, MD, MPH, Professor and Director, UC Irvine Center for Occupational and Environmental Health; Chief, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, UC Irvine School of Medicine. Dr. Baker is an expert in clinical occupational and environmental medicine, epidemiology, and children’s environmental health. The three month long gas leak caused the relocation of thousands of residents in the San Fernando Valley, CA, neighborhood of Porter Ranch.

On January 6, 2016, Governor Brown issued a Proclamation of a State of Emergency and Order on the Aliso Canyon gas leak. The Governor’s Order provides that “The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment shall convene an independent panel of scientific and medical experts to review public health concerns stemming from the gas leak and evaluate whether additional measures are needed to protect public health beyond those already put in place.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that problems with the storage facility began long before anyone smelled or became sickened by natural gas and methane. They include:

  • As many as 39 of the site’s 115 wells were developed prior to 1954, and lawmakers say they need to be brought up to modern standards.
  • A lack of connections between the Southern California Gas system and those of the state’s other gas utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which operates a large field in Northern California.
  • Reliance on Aliso Canyon to supply 60% of the gas used by Southern California Gas’ 5.6 million residential customers, 215,000 commercial and industrial users, and 52 electric power plants.

About Karen Olson

Information Professional with twenty years experience in legal, public record, and business research. Fifteen years law firm experience.

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