October 19, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Bonin Calls Into Investigation Into Playa del Rey Oil Facility

SoCalGas under fire from Councilmember Mike Bonin.

By Sam Catanzaro

Councilmember Mike Bonin called for an investigation this week into a gas storage facility operated by Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) – the same company responsible for the catastrophic Aliso Canyon gas blowout in Porter Ranch in 2015. 

In legislation submitted to Los Angeles City Council, Bonin formally requested an investigation into whether SoCalGas was complying with the rules and regulations intended to keep people safe.

“The investigation should include a thorough site review for all equipment and wells onsite, including a full site review of conditions to verify the site’s city permits; adherence to approved zoning and use conditions; remediation of subsidence and erosion issues; compliance with the new state gas storage rules; and, compliance with any and all facility and operational requirements of the California Coastal Commission, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and the California Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (CA DOGGR),” reads Bonin’s motion. 

“Neighbors from Playa del Rey, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Venice and Westchester have expressed concerns to the city about odors, oily mist, oil field rigs and equipment left idle at sites for long periods of time, lack of information on operations, possibly unpermitted well maintenance activities, and hillside soil erosion”

Councilmember Mike Bonin

The Playa del Rey oil field was converted to a gas storage field by the SoCalGas in 1955. Although primarily used for gas storage, SoCalGas continues to produce oil and gas from the oil field. These areas require careful scrutiny to ensure public health and safety are protected, primarily because of the poisonous and combustible methane gas associated with petroleum deposits and gas storage facilities, as well as the toxic chemicals used for regular maintenance and operations.

Since 1955, the surrounding character of the community has changed drastically. A  low-density neighborhood developed along the perimeter of the site. In addition, the facility is adjacent to the Ballona Wetlands coastal resource area, which historically has been threatened by the impacts of encroaching development. Further, since 1955, the nearby Los Angeles Airport (LAX) has grown from a smaller local airport into a world-class facility, and now serves a hub for regional, national, and international flights at every hour of the day.

“Neighbors from Playa del Rey, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Venice and Westchester have expressed concerns to the city about odors, oily mist, oil field rigs and equipment left idle at sites for long periods of time, lack of information on operations, possibly unpermitted well maintenance activities, and hillside soil erosion. Moreover, recent activity at the site, including the installation of tall, unsightly rigs for the maintenance and testing of wells and the long-overdue remediation of slope erosion, have raised questions about the site’s adherence to zoning regulations and the suitability of this use in the community,” Bonin said. 

The SoCalGas Playa del Rey storage facility. Photo: Courtesy.

According to SoCalGas, Local natural gas storage facilities, like the Playa del Rey storage facility (PDR), are crucial to the reliability of Southern California’s natural gas and electricity systems, saying The majority of homes in Southern California, about 90 percent, use natural gas for hot water and heating. 

“Storing natural gas locally helps protect those homes and consumers from energy shortages and sudden spikes in the price of natural gas, providing customers with safe and reliable natural gas,” SoCalGas said. 

According to SoCalGas, over the past 18 months many safety enhancements have been implemented at the Playa del Rey storage facility. These include a remote pressure monitoring system for all wells and daily patrols to inspect for leaks. In addition, SoCalGas says the majority of the storage wells are now configured so that natural gas only flows through newly-installed steel inner tubing, allowing the outer casing to act as a second barrier of protection against potential leaks. 

“SoCalGas has taken steps to ensure that PDR meets and exceeds the rigorous standards set by state regulators. All wells at Playa del Rey are undergoing the same comprehensive battery of tests conducted at Aliso Canyon, which state energy experts have called the most comprehensive tests in the country,” the company said. 

Related Posts

Pali High Debuts Fall Musical Avenue Q Live on Stage

October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021

Pali high students bring the musical Avenue Q to the stage for a limited time. Video brought to you by...

UCLA awarded $1 Million Dollars Towards Enabling Safer Bike Commutes

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

The Civic Bicycle Commuting team along with partners is one of six competitors for the Civic Innovation Challenge backed by...

Barn Owl Nesting Box Program Comes to The Westside.

October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

The barn owl nesting box program from Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife is helping these birds create a network of...

Missing Woman Last Seen in Venice Beach

September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021

Jessie Jean-Baptiste last seen Saturday By Sam Catanzaro Police are seeking a missing 25-year-old woman last seen in Venice Beach...

Canstruction Fights Hunger Through Art

September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

International hunger relief fundraiser Canstruction makes an appearance at the Westfield Century City mall and we have the highlights. Video...

The Rich History of Prehemptive CBD Creams

September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

The following is a question and answer with Paul Herve, founder of Prehemptive CBD creams, based on the formulas of a botanical...

Top-Rated Poster Printing Services in Los Angeles

September 10, 2021

September 10, 2021

So you want a piece of promotional artwork that is eye-catching and makes a statement. Maybe you’re a store looking...

Comedian Fuquan Johnson One of 1 of 3 Dead Following Suspected Overdose at Venice Party

September 7, 2021

September 7, 2021

Early Saturday morning incident remains under investigation By Sam Catanzaro Comedian Fuquan Johnson was among one of three people who...

Gambling and Mental Health: Tips For The Casino

August 31, 2021

August 31, 2021

With the advent of online casinos, gambling has become a more popular pastime than ever before. It’s estimated that a...

Final Weekend of Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series With New Movies Added

August 28, 2021

August 28, 2021

WHERE: Marina del Rey Boat Launch Ramp, 13477 Fiji Way at Parking Lot #2 COST: $20 per vehicle, per movie...

Market Report: What is the Difference Between a Peach and a Nectarine?

August 25, 2021

August 25, 2021

Today at the Santa Monica farmers market Murray Farms answers all of our stone fruit questions in this video brought...

Main Street Traffic Closures Return This Weekend

August 20, 2021

August 20, 2021

Sharing an Open Main Street back for second time this summer August 21 – 22 By Sam Catanzaro  The summer’s...

Venice Restaurants Vie for Michelin Stars

August 19, 2021

August 19, 2021

Prestigious guide returning to California next month By Kerry Slater The Michelin Guide is returning to California next month after...

Venice Outdoor Venues Offer Maskless Event Experience

August 15, 2021

August 15, 2021

When mask mandates were lifted across California last month, the citizens of Los Angeles County breathed a collective sigh of...

What to Wear When Attending the Breeders’ Cup 2021

August 13, 2021

August 13, 2021

Choosing the right clothing is a big part of the fun of going to a popular horse racing event such...