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SoCalGas gets violation notice from Calif. agency for minor leak at Aliso Canyon

Southern California Gas Co. received a violation notice from a California regulator for a gas leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, citing several complaints of foul odors from residents in the area.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, or SCAQMD, said the 50-minute leak at the facility on Dec. 18 caused a public nuisance, violating one of the air pollution control agency's rules. The SCAQMD received 15 complaints from residents of Porter Ranch in Los Angeles, Calif., according to a Dec. 22 news release.

The agency on Dec. 21 also issued the Sempra Energy subsidiary a notice to comply that directed the submission of all fenceline monitoring data from the day of the leak by Dec. 26. The SCAQMD noted that SoCalGas' online display of real-time methane levels from fenceline monitors was down during the leak.

The leak began in the afternoon of Dec. 18 after pressurizing equipment failed after maintenance work. SoCalGas' methane monitoring equipment detected a peak concentration that measured more than 30 times the typical background methane concentration. SoCalGas plugged the leak within the hour, but did not inform SCAQMD or the community of the leak until after more than two hours.

The Aliso Canyon facility experienced a massive gas leak that began in October 2015 and was sealed in February 2016.