SoCal Gas agrees to $119.5-million settlement for Aliso Canyon methane leak — biggest in U.S. history

State and local officials on Wednesday announced a tentative settlement in lawsuits filed against Southern California Gas Co. over the biggest methane leak in U.S. history.

The $119.5-million settlement with city, county and state officials and prosecutors will resolve agencies’ claims against the gas company. In exchange, the utility will pay civil penalties and fund expanded air monitoring, a government-administered health study and environmental and climate mitigation projects across the region and state.

For the next eight years, SoCal Gas agreed to continue monitoring and reporting air quality along the fence line of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, create an internal safety committee and hire an independent ombudsman to monitor and report on safety at the site.

In October 2015, a ruptured well at the facility near Porter Ranch began spewing gas and eventually became the nation’s largest methane leak. It took nearly four months to seal the well.

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