Every month, SoCalGas will publish a map of the non-hazardous sites where elevated levels of methane have been detected either during regular inspections of our pipeline system or in follow up to reports by the public. Because there are many natural and man-made sources of methane, it is unlikely all of these indications actually represent pipeline leaks. Nevertheless, all the sites on the map have been inspected by SoCalGas technicians trained to identify conditions that pose a safety hazard.
Federal regulations dictate how to determine the level of risk posed by methane and what actions to take to declare when the sites are safe. In simple terms, sites of methane emissions are hazardous only when methane is or can become concentrated in an enclosed area and there is a source of ignition nearby. The regulations go on to state that the sites that do not present these types of risks are to be considered non-hazardous and are allowed to exist as long as they are regularly monitored and/or scheduled for future repair.
When methane emissions are detected, our trained technicians conduct a "four-point" inspection, evaluating the site in relation to its proximity to people and property, the concentration of gas present in the area at the time of inspection, the potential for gas to accumulate in the surrounding area and the presence of an ignition source.
Any site of emissions determined to be hazardous is immediately repaired if a leak is found to be the source of the emissions. As such, these hazards do not exist long enough to be plotted on the map.
For the non-hazardous sites, our technicians either: 1) log the site as non-hazardous and schedule it for repair or 2) log the site as non-hazardous and schedule it for monitoring to verify it stays safe. Oftentimes, the follow up requires considering whether to repair or replace the segment of pipe, notifying property owners and securing construction permits.
By entering your ZIP code, you will be able to see all the sites of methane emissions in your area categorized as either being "Scheduled for Repair" or "Logged for Monitoring."
Scheduled for Repair: Trained technicians have inspected this site, determined it to be non-hazardous but in need of repair or replacement. While planning, permitting and other activities are underway, the site will be inspected as frequently as necessary to verify it remains safe.
Monitoring: Trained technicians have determined this site to be non-hazardous and has been logged for monitoring according to federal guidelines to verify it remains non-hazardous until it is repaired or replaced.
The number of non-hazardous sites you find should be considered with the following factors in mind:
- The newer and more sophisticated detection equipment we have deployed is finding a greater number of lower levels of methane emissions.
- Because there are many natural and man-made sources of methane, it is unlikely all of these indications actually represent pipeline leaks.
- SoCalGas' pipeline system is the largest in the country, with more than 100,000 miles of pipe spanning 20,000 square miles.
- The emission rate of the system is one of the lowest in the country with estimates ranging from 0.05 percent to 0.12 percent of all gas delivered.
SoCalGas submitted a plan to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in November 2014 to increase the rate of pipe replacement and repair on its system. A decision by the Commission is anticipated by the end of 2015. Once funding is approved, we anticipate repairing all currently identified pending non-hazardous leaks by the end of 2018.
To find information on leaks in any neighborhood in the SoCalGas service area, please enter your ZIP code.
THIS MAP IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IF YOU SMELL A GAS ODOR OR SUSPECT A LEAK, DO NOT RELY ON INFORMATION ON THIS MAP. If you smell a natural gas odor, hear a hissing sound of gas escaping, or see other signs of a leak, REMAIN calm. DON'T smoke or light a match, candle or other flame. DON'T turn electrical appliances or lights on or off, operate machinery, or use any device that could create a spark. IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE the area, and from a safe location, call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200, or call 911 if the damage results in a natural gas leak that may endanger life or cause bodily harm or property damage.