California Gas Co Company to be Arraigned over Aliso Canyon Methane Leak

California Gas Co Company to be Arraigned over Aliso Canyon Methane Leak

Now that the month's long methane leak has been plugged at natural gas storage well in Los Angeles, the lawyers have now shifted their attention to litigation related to the environmental disaster which is being compared to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.

On Wednesday, officials say, California Gas Co. is to be arraigned on criminal charges related to the massive methane leakage close to Los Angeles which forced 6,600 or more families to leave their homes from the Porter Ranch community.

SoCalGas, whose parent is Sempra Energy based in San Diego-based faces four charges of misdemeanor for failing to report the methane release that began on October 23, last year.

According to company spokesman Javier Mendoza, Wednesday's arraignment was attended by the attorneys for SoCalGas in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Clarita. According to Jane Robison , a spokeswomen from the county District Attorney's Office, in case the company is convicted, it could pay a fine of up to $25,000 per day for the duration which it failed to report leakage of the air pollutant to the California Office of Emergency Services. Additionally, it could also be fined up to $1,000 a day for violations of air pollution rules.

The leak is linked to a rupture in the underground pipeline at the company's Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field. It is the largest of its kinds to ever happen in California.