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Boxer Statement on Findings from Aliso Canyon Task Force

Press Release

Date: Oct. 18, 2016
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today released a statement on the findings from the Interagency Task Force led by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to investigate the cause and effects of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and the steps needed to protect other communities nationwide.

In February 2016, Boxer called Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz urging him to lead a federal review of the gas leak. In March, Senators Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter to President Obama urging him to create the task force. The Administration announced the creation of the task force in April.

"This report is an important first step toward protecting our communities from suffering another crisis like the one we saw at Aliso Canyon," Senator Boxer said. "This disaster sickened residents, forced thousands to leave their homes, temporarily closed schools and hurt local businesses. I want to personally thank Secretary Moniz, who toured the site to see the effects firsthand, and other federal officials for their comprehensive review. The recommendations from this task force would reduce the chance of future gas leaks while also strengthening protections for public health and the environment."

The findings support new rules for natural gas storage and safety that the State of California has proposed, which are expected to be finalized in January 2017.

The Senators' amendment creating an Aliso Canyon Task Force, which was included in the PIPES Act, was signed into law by President Obama in June. Boxer discussed the amendment with local residents when she visited Porter Ranch in February.

The multi-agency task force includes representatives from DOE, PHMSA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Interior (DOI), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

A copy of the report by the Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety can be found here.