Southern California Gas Company has pled not guilty to criminal charges
regarding the San Fernando Valley gas leak. The charges include three
counts of failing to report the release of a hazardous material and one
count of discharge of air contaminants. The company says it discovered
the leak on October 23, however, Attorney General says the company did
not report it until October 26. If convicted of the charges, the company
will be fined $1,000 per day for air pollution violations and up to $25,000
for each day it failed to notify the state.
The leak, which temporarily displaced nearly 6,500 families, has recently
been stopped. Still, residents have yet to return to their homes as the
state needs to certify that the plug is permanent. The incident has drawn
national attention and has highlighted the broader problem of gas storage
across the country.