Study feasibility of closing Aliso Canyon gas site – and quickly – Daily News

on Nov21
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Roughly four years after a large gas leak broke out near residential homes at the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state agency that oversees the site to “expedite planning for the permanent closure” of the 3,600-acre facility.

The California Public Utilities Commission is already investigating whether the facility is needed. But the governor said he was “concerned” that the agency’s current investigation “will not yield the fastest and most workable path toward closure of the facility,” according to the letter the governor sent Monday to CPUC President Marybel Batjer.

In February of 2017, about a year after the gas leak was capped, the CPUC launched an investigation to determine whether the underground storage facility should be minimized or closed altogether.

In 2017, California Energy Commission Chairman Robert B. Weisenmiller urged phasing out the Aliso Canyon facility within a decade.

Now the governor says the CPUC needs to “immediately engage an independent third-party expert to identify viable alternatives to the facility” that can ultimately show “a shorter path to closure,” according to his letter.

In addition to the CPUC, the Aliso Canyon facility is regulated by the state Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources.

Terrie Prosper, a spokeswoman for the CPUC, wrote in an email that the agency is “fully prepared to launch an expert study of scenarios as requested in the governor’s letter.”

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