County Sues Gas Company to Force Safety Measures

In another example of the oil and gas industry’s lack of concern about safety and the consequences of its profit-making activities, Los Angeles County has been forced to sue Southern California Gas Company to compel the gas company to install and upgrade the safety shut-off valves on its wells. The suit arises from a massive gas leak at a southern California gas storage and distribution facility in October 2015. The source of the leak was a metal pipe in a breached casing of an injection well that had not been repaired because Southern California Gas did not consider it a “critical” location. Thousands of families in the area were evacuated due to exposure to natural gas and other contaminants. Many of the people exposed experienced headaches, nausea, weakness, and fatigue. The suit also seeks money damages to punish Southern California Gas Company for leaking approximately 100,000 tons of gas into the atmosphere of communities surrounding its storage and distribution facility.