SoCalGas Statement on Filing Writ of Mandate to Annul Department of Public Health's Cleaning Directive

Jul 12, 2016

LOS ANGELES, July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today SoCalGas petitioned the L.A. County Superior Court for a Writ of Mandate to annul the Department of Public Health's (Public Health) Cleaning Directive because it is not necessary to address any public health hazard. According to Public Health there is no health hazard. The company issued the following statement:

"When the leaking well at the Aliso Canyon storage facility was permanently sealed five months ago, one of the key commitments SoCalGas made to the community was to help those who chose to relocate to return to their homes, and we have delivered on that promise.

"Since the well has been sealed, thousands of samples have been taken by regulatory agencies, including the Department of Public Health, of the indoor and outdoor air, and of soil and dust in selected homes in the Porter Ranch community. Public Health's own testing results have detected no substance above state or federal levels of concern. 

"Nevertheless, in conjunction with the completion of the relocation program, SoCalGas has cleaned more than 1,700 homes of formerly relocated residents following Public Health's interior cleaning protocol. Relocated residents have returned home, the final relocation reimbursements are being processed, and the community is returning to normal.

"The facts are clear. Public health officials, including Department of Public Health, have repeatedly stated that their data do not suggest that the conditions in the greater Porter Ranch area present a risk to public health, and that the community is safe. 

"Despite this overwhelming evidence, and without any supporting facts, Public Health issued a Directive to SoCalGas that could require the company to clean nearly 35,000 homes--virtually every home in the Porter Ranch community and beyond, even though people having been living in these homes throughout. There has been no data provided to support this unnecessary demand from a health and safety perspective. It will only cause additional disruption to a community that wants to get back to normal as soon as possible.

"It is important to remember that relocation was voluntary for residents. No evacuation was ever ordered and at no time did Public Health identify a condition resulting from the leak that presented a long term health risk to residents. Moreover, since the well was sealed, Public Health has not identified a health hazard or condition that would require people to leave their homes, or that would preclude their returning. According to Public Health, the homes of those who returned and those who never left were and are safe. 

"SoCalGas remains committed to working with all of the regulators and with the community.  However, it is not acceptable to require unnecessary work that is neither justified nor supported.  Once again, the facts are clear: The Department of Public Health's own data indicate that the homes are safe.  

"We look forward to resolving this issue quickly and to working with the community to move forward."

About Southern California Gas Co: Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words like "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "intends," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "goals," "outlook," "maintain" or similar expressions, or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, and national economic, competitive, political, legislative, legal, and regulatory conditions, decisions, and developments; actions and the timing of actions, including general rate case decisions, new regulations, issuances of permits to construct, operate and maintain facilities and equipment and to use land, franchise agreements, and licenses for operation, by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, California Energy Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, cities and counties, and other regulatory, governmental and environmental bodies in the United States; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction, maintenance and capital projects, including risks in obtaining, maintaining or extending permits, licenses, certificates and other authorizations on a timely basis and risks in obtaining adequate and competitive financing for such projects;  the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers and delays in regulatory agency authorization to recover costs in rates from customers; the availability of electric power and natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the North American transmission grid, moratoriums on the ability to withdraw natural gas from or inject natural gas into storage facilities, pipeline explosions and equipment failures; energy markets; the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices; the impact on the value of our natural gas storage assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for natural gas storage services; risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable (due to liquidity issues, bankruptcy or otherwise) or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; capital markets conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments, and inflation and interest rates; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, natural gas storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; terrorist attacks that threaten system operations and critical infrastructure; wars; weather conditions, natural disasters, catastrophic accidents, equipment failures and other events that may disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gasses and harmful emissions, and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance or may be disputed by insurers; the inability or determination not to enter into long-term supply and sales agreements or long-term firm capacity agreements due to insufficient market interest, unattractive pricing or other factors; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.

These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Southern California Gas Co. is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.9 million consumers through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. Southern California Gas Co. is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy.

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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.

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