Environmental Defense Fund

After Calif. leak, feds seek to curtail natural gas blowouts

A year after a blowout at a natural gas well near Los Angeles spewed tons of noxious gas and drove thousands from their homes, a federal task force is recommending dozens of safety changes for the nation's 400 underground natural gas storage facilities.

A report released Tuesday recommends that operators of gas-storage sites conduct strict risk assessments and develop robust safety procedures, including ensuring that storage wells have backup systems to contain gas flows in the event of a leak.

The leak at the Aliso Canyon well was the largest-known release of climate-changing methane in U.S. history, spewing an estimated 107,000 tons of methane before being controlled in...