Governor Brown Visits Aliso Canyon. (credit: Governor’s Office of Emergency Services)

On Wednesday evening, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County in connection with a massive natural gas leak that’s ongoing at a Southern California Gas Company storage facility. The leak, which began on October 23, has been spewing methane into the air at a rate of tens of thousands of kilograms (PDF) per hour.
Governor Brown’s declaration of a state of emergency requires that SoCal Gas and other gas storage facility operators throughout California start conducting daily inspections of well heads and implement infrared imaging technology to detect leaks. Facility operators will have to monitor the wells for mechanical integrity, gas pressure, and safety on an ongoing basis.
The emergency declaration doesn’t earmark any state funds to help fund a cleanup, but it orders the California Public Utilities Commission to “ensure that Southern California Gas Company covers costs related to the natural gas leak and its response, while protecting ratepayers.”
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