The Latest: Panel approves halt of operations after gas leak

AP News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2016 9:04 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the legislative hearing related to the massive gas leak near Los Angeles (all times local):

6 p.m.

A legislative committee has approved a bill that would prevent a utility from resuming full operations at a facility that had a massive natural gas leak for nearly four months.

Lawmakers expressed concerns Monday that the shutdown of the Southern California Gas Co. storage facility could lead to blackouts.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, says energy reliability is the "elephant in the room."

The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee voted 13-0 to pass the bill on to the appropriations committee with some amendments.

The bill would require SoCalGas to test all wells at its facility near Los Angeles before it can resume storing gas in a massive underground reservoir.

State officials say testing could take months and they can't yet predict whether the moratorium would lead to blackouts.

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11:30 a.m.

California lawmakers are considering legislation that would prevent a utility from resuming full operations at a facility that had a massive natural gas leak for nearly four months.

The bill requiring testing of wells at the Southern California Gas Co. facility near Los Angeles faces an Assembly committee hearing Monday.

The measure by Sen. Fran Pavley would put a moratorium on gas injections at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility until state regulators determine the facility is safe.

The well that leaked was permanently sealed last week after spewing methane uncontrollably for 16 weeks and driving thousands of families from the Porter Ranch community.

The underground facility is the largest storage field in the West. State officials are investigating what would happen to gas supplies if it remains closed.