The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has fined SoCal Gas $2.25 million for 45 safety violations found during inspections in the Mid-City and Harbor area in April and May of 2015. The violations stemmed from the delayed maintenance of corrosion prevention systems, and not from actual corrosion of pipes or casings.
Between 2011 and 2015 the utility failed to repair 125 deficient corrosion prevention systems within the required 15 months, in some cases waiting more than three years, according to the citation. The utilities commission cited the company for 45 of those deficiencies that exceeded two years, saying they “presented unacceptable risk to safe operations.”
State regulators examined SoCal's gas infrastructure months before a gas well blew out at the company's massive Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility in the north end of the San Fernando Valley near Porter Ranch. That well rupture was discovered in October, and led to the uncontrolled release of more than 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas and the continued relocation of more than 2,000 families outside the area.
Company spokeswoman Melissa Bailey said “safety is our number one priority and we take the cited violations very seriously. As the Commission noted in the citation, the violation was not willful and SoCalGas has taken responsibility at the highest levels to address the issue by actively implementing system-wide corrective actions.”