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Prosecutor Charges SoCal Gas with Failing to Immediately Report Porter Ranch Gas Leak

L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed four misdemeanor criminal charges against Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) for allegedly failing to report the gas leak at its Aliso Canyon storage facility for three days. The company could face a maximum fine of $25,000 per day for each day the leak went unreported, as well as a $1,000 fine for each day the well continues to leak.

The leak has released about 80,000 tonnes of methane since Oct. 23. Residents of more than 5,000 homes in the nearby Porter Ranch community have since relocated after complaining of noxious smells, headaches, nosebleeds and other health ailments.

SoCalGas is facing numerous lawsuits over the leak, including one wrongful death case that alleges the leak hastened the death of a 79-year-old with lung cancer.

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