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The Board of Supervisors this week voted unanimously to send a letter urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to use its authority to stop SoCalGas’ plans to expand the storage capacity at its Aliso Canyon facility, site of the largest gas blowout in U.S. history. Any action, the letter contends, to increase gas storage limits at Aliso Canyon would defy the directive by Gov. Gavin Newsom for the CPUC to identify pathways for closing the facility.

Food & Water Watch, a statewide environmental watchdog group, has come out forcefully against the facility in northern Los Angeles County, particularly following the 2015 gas leak. It’s director, Alexandra Nagy, issued a statement in response to the Board’s decision:

“The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is doing its part to protect public health and ensure the safety of San Fernando Valley residents. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same of the California Public Utilities Commission.

The CPUC has neglected its mandate from Governor Newsom to find a pathway for closing the Aliso Canyon facility, and opted instead for silence as SoCalGas plans to expand this dangerous gas infrastructure. In the absence of action from the CPUC, this expansion goes unchecked and unregulated, threatening the north San Fernando Valley that is still suffering the public health consequences of the 2015 blowout.

“It’s time for the CPUC to step up, speak out, and stop this expansion of the gas storage facility at Aliso Canyon. If the CPUC fails to meet the moment, we urge Governor Newsom to step in and lead.”