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CPUC Proposal Would Find That the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Field Was Not Out of Service for Nine Consecutive Months

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Sept. 27, 2018 Update: The CPUC approved the proposal below at their September 27, 2018 Voting Meeting in Sacramento.

On Monday, August 27, 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a proposal that, if approved by its Commissioners, would find that the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Field was not out of service for nine consecutive months in the aftermath of events following the natural gas leak that occurred at the facility beginning October 23, 2015.

The Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Field is the largest of the gas storage fields owned and operated by Southern California Gas Company and is the second largest in the U.S.  The underground storage facility is located in the Santa Susana Mountains near Porter Ranch in Los Angeles.

The CPUC may eliminate consideration of the value of any portion of a facility that remains out of service for nine or more consecutive months and may disallow expenses related to the out of service facility to be recovered through rates collected by the utility that operates such a facility.  The proposal issued on August 27, 2018 (known as the Proposed Decision in I.17-03-002) concludes that although there was a temporary moratorium on gas injections, the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Field remained available for service, supporting system balancing and reliability requirements.

The proposal directs Southern California Gas Company to continue to maintain the Aliso Canyon Cost Memorandum Account (ACRCMA), which was established on March 17, 2016.  The CPUC ordered Southern California Gas Company to establish the ACRCMA to track revenue and costs associated with owning and operating the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Field.  The ACRCMA will be addressed in the CPUC's forthcoming investigation into the root cause analysis of the leak, which is expected to be initiated in 2019.

The first opportunity for the proposal to appear on a CPUC Voting Meeting agenda is September 27, 2018.

The proposal is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M224/K463/224463567.PDF.

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