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Patrick DeBlase
Patrick DeBlase
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Lawsuit Accuses Gas Co. of Polluting Aquifers

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Southern California Gas Co. accused in lawsuit by the Environmental Law Foundation of leaching cancer-causing toxins into the local aquifer by storing and pumping natural gas in depleted oil fields.

The Oakland based Environmental Law Foundation filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court this week alleges that the Southern California Gas Co. is polluting the local water table. Specifically, the suit alleges that the Gas Co. uses old, depleted oil fields to store approximately 125 billion cubic feet of natural gas about 6,000 feet below ground. This gas is then pumped out during the winter months when demand for heat is high.

The Environmental Law Foundation, in the suit, says that this process causes a variety of toxins to leach out of the Gas Co.’s storage areas and into the local drinking water. The lawsuit says that these toxins which include petrochemicals, benzene, toluene, and xylene, through the gas pumping process become disturbed and relocate through aging well shafts and contaminate aquifers beneath Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey.

The lawsuit accuses the Gas Co. of violating Proposition 65 which, in part, precludes the discharge of chemicals which are known to cause cancer.