SoCal Gas wants to put gas back into wells

SoCal Gas says they are requesting regulators to approve the company to put natural gas back into the Aliso Canyon storage facility.

Porter Ranch residents like Gregory Mockenhaupt fear it may only be a matter of time before they are forced to relive the months-long gas leak nightmare they suffered all over again.

"People out there are very nervous and very worried about it," Mockenhaupt said.

The Aliso Canyon methane leak was the largest in U.S. history and Mockenhaupt says he remembers how bad the air quality got all to well. For several weeks, he had to use his asthma inhaler twice a day.

Other than to walk his dog, he rarely left his home.

And he says he is not alone. For months, protestors pleaded with local officials to shut the facility. That didn't happen.

On Tuesday, SoCal Gas announced they were requesting approval to put gas back into the storage facility.

The company says they've taken major steps so a leak never happens again, including 40 miles of new steel piping for wells, 24 hour pressure monitoring of the wells, and an advanced methane detection system.

But porter ranch residents like Mockenhaupt fear that it could happen again.

"I don't trust them," Mockenhaupt said.

Mockenhaupt feels torn about the request to reopen, but hopes more changes are ahead.

"This is one of the largest gas storage places in the western United States, so we need to have that gas for heating and electricity," he said. "I'm hoping they'll put in less pressure this time. And I'm really hoping they'll be looking for other places they can put gas."

State regulators will take a look at the changes SoCal Gas has made. There will also be a public hearing.

If everything is approved, SoCal Gas will be able to re-fill the well at that point.

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