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A New Gas Leak Has Been Discovered At The Aliso Canyon Gas Field [Updated]

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Two new gas leaks have been discovered in Aliso Canyon, a year-and-a-half after a 2015 blowout sent over 100,000 tons of methane and ethane into the San Fernando Valley's air.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, on May 24, Southern California Gas, which was responsible for the 2015 leak, reported to the state's Office of Emergency Services the discovery of a "minor" gas leak from one of Denver-based Crimson Resource Management's threading pipes.

"Crimson is not affiliated with SoCalGas or Sempra Energy and SoCalGas does not control or operate Crimson’s facilities at Aliso Canyon. Although SoCalGas is not responsible for monitoring Crimson’s facilities, SoCalGas personnel observed emissions from a threaded fitting on a pipeline owned and operated by Crimson and informed Crimson," Southern California Gas said in an email to LAist. "SoCalGas subsequently observed an open valve on a well operated by Crimson, and the valve was releasing gas to atmosphere. SoCalGas employees took proactive steps to minimize the emissions from Crimson’s facilities, notified Crimson and alerted the appropriate regulatory agencies. Crimson informed us that they would fix the leak."

As the Daily News adds, CRM said it would fix the reported leak by May 31. As of June 1, the leak has not been fixed, and the second leak was later discovered. The second leak, from an open valve on a CRM pipe, was closed by Southern California Gas. Meanwhile, the original leak seems to be getting worse:

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"After closing the valve, SoCal Gas personnel observed that the minor leak on the threaded fitting on the 3" Crimson oil line had not yet been repaired and the rate of the release from the threaded fitting appeared to increase," the Hazardous Material Spill Report, updated Thursday, notes. "SoCal Gas again notified Crimson Oil."

When LAist reached out to Crimson Resource Management for comment, President and CEO Gary Buntmann responded "No thanks," and hung up on us.

“The minor leak at the Aliso Canyon field has been traced to a pipeline that is not associated with the natural gas storage facility," Don Drysdale of the California Department of Conservation said in a statement sent to LAist. "The minor leak is identified as a slight hissing noise coming from a threaded elbow joint in a 2 7/8-inch line near Crimson Resources Management’s oil production operations. Crimson is shutting in three wells to determine if the line is part of their system. Regardless, the elbow joint will be welded [June 3] to remediate the minor leak. The Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources will conduct a complete environmental inspection of Crimson’s operation at Aliso Canyon after the immediate leak has stopped to identify any possible compliance issues. The Division also is contacting South Coast Air Quality Management District to ensure they are aware and can take whatever action they deem appropriate.”

[Updated: 6:01 p.m.]

"After enduring the largest gas leak in U.S. history, residents near Aliso Canyon are once again subject to an ongoing, unchecked leak with no accountability for those responsible," a statement emailed to LAist by Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander, whose District 12 contains the Porter Ranch community and Aliso Canyon gas site, begins. "Despite all the safety measures put in place, it is clear that leaks like this are inevitable at large storage facilities like Aliso Canyon. That is why we need to both end our dependency on dangerous fuels and extend a moratorium on the use of the Aliso Canyon site. You simply cannot and should not co-locate such facilities near populated communities.

After nine days and one missed repair deadline since the latest leak began, the patience of residents is at an end. I once again call on state regulators to disallow the re-opening of the Aliso Canyon site."