Gas storage deemed safe after blowout but challenge looms

By Brian Melley, Associated Press

The fight over reopening a massive gas storage facility that has been crippled since a major blowout is heading to court.

In this Dec. 9, 2015, file pool photo, crews work on a relief well at the Aliso Canyon facility above the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles. Two state agencies said Wednesday, July 19, 2017, that the Southern California Gas Co., can resume storing natural gas at the Aliso Canyon facility, which stopped operations in the wake of an October 2015 blowout. However, storage will be restricted to about 28 percent of the field's capacity. (Dean Musgrove /Los Angeles Daily News via AP, Pool)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fight over reopening a massive gas storage facility that has been crippled since a major blowout is heading to court.

Lawyers for Los Angeles County will ask a Superior Court judge Friday to stop Southern California Gas Co. from restarting operations at Aliso Canyon because of earthquake risks.

The measure comes just a week after state regulators gave approval to pump gas into underground storage wells after an overhaul and extensive testing.

The storage site above the San Fernando Valley has been largely out of commission since an October 2015 well blowout spewed methane for nearly four months and drove residents from 8,000 homes.

Residents who complained of health woes want to see the facility permanently shuttered.

The state says the facility is safe and quake fears are overblown.

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