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State Senator Wants to Temporarily Shut Down Old Wells at Leaky Porter Ranch Facility

First discovered in late October, the leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility near Porter Ranch is still raging on, spewing out an ever-growing amount of methane. (Last count, over 80,000 metric tons was belched into the air because of it.) While the Southern California Gas Company is at work digging a relief well to fix the leak, State Senator Fran Pavley, who reps the area, has plans to introduce a suite of bills that would put a ban on using "vintage wells" for production at Aliso Canyon, and stop new gas injections there, says the Daily News.

One of Pavley's proposed bills would stop the use of old wells—especially those from the 1950s, like the one that's leaking— until they could be inspected and determined not to be a "risk to public health and safety." Gas injections at the site would also be halted. (The gas company had stopped gas injections about a week after the leak was found, and California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources told the company not to start injections again until they received proper authorization.) The temporary stoppage would be lifted once the wells could be inspected and deemed safe by both state agencies and independent experts. Gas injections are usually used in the latter, less productive part of a well's life span, as a way to get every last drop of natural gas.

Other bills Pavley proposed would name one state agency, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, as the lead on any further leaks (instead of the seven government agencies that are currently entangled in the current leak disaster), as well as institute increased inspections and "proactive well standards" at natural gas storage facilities—hopefully to prevent a disastrous situation like the one in Porter Ranch from happening again. State Senator Pavley's bills "mirror" Governor Jerry Brown's emergency declaration last week, which also called for continuing the ban on gas injections and a deep look at the "long-term viability of the state's natural gas facilities," says the LA Times.

Meanwhile, the thousands of residents from Porter Ranch that have been relocating at the Southern California Gas Company's expense to avoid the side-effects (headaches, nausea) of an odorant in the gas that's added to help detect leaks are faced with rents at temporary housing that are, in many cases, double or triple the price that they should be.

· State Senate Leaders Announce Plan on Porter Ranch Gas Leak [NBC LA]
· State senator wants to temporarily ban using old gas wells in wake of Porter Ranch leak [LADN]
· A Running Count of Exactly How Much Methane is Being Released From Huge Porter Ranch Gas Leak [Curbed LA]