Aliso Canyon gas plant restart halted by state appeals court

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A state appeals court on Friday issued a temporary halt to the planned restart of an Aliso Canyon gas storage facility that was closed after the largest methane leak U.S. history.

The stay, ordered by California's 2nd District Court of Appeals, prevents the Southern California Gas Co. from pumping gas into the utility's facility near Porter Ranch.

The move comes after state regulators last week approved the resumption of operations at the location following a massive overhaul and testing.

On Friday, Los Angeles County attorneys requested that the restart be stopped, saying earthquake risks were not taken into account in a California safety review. After a lower court judge said state law prevented him from overruling the California Public Utilities Commission, the appeal was filed.

In the aftermath of a four-month blowout that released about 100,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere and forced thousands of families to evacuate their homes, the facility was closed for 18 months.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.