For the last several years, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the State Coastal Conservancy and the Bay Foundation have worked with the public to envision a plan for the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. SoCalGas understands the importance of the wetlands and is committed to supporting their restoration. Our plans to remove 17 wells in the area of the Playa Del Rey (PDR) natural gas storage facility will help accommodate a larger restoration area of the Reserve.
As part of this process, our local community may see some construction activities and large equipment. Rest assured, we are not expanding our infrastructure. Work includes bringing in a workover rig to remove piping and set cement plugs to isolate the wells. The wellheads will then be removed, and the well casing cut and capped approximately five feet below the ground.
- SoCalGas obtains the services of qualified biologists and archaeologists, as necessary, to train work crews and protect sensitive resources.
- Sound barrier walls will be installed to protect the wildlife in the area from noise and dust.
- Work areas will be marked with flagging, signage, and/or k-rail.
- SoCalGas has coordinated with the California Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), the CDFW, and the California Coastal Commission by providing information about our activities and to obtain all required permits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SoCalGas' role in the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project?
In support of the restoration, SoCalGas plans to permanently seal 16 wells from within the boundaries of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. Removing these 16 wells from the Reserve, and one additional well which is located just outside of the boundaries of the Reserve, will create an opportunity for a larger restoration footprint for the Ballona Wetlands.
The well removal work will be undertaken in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts. SoCalGas will work with the CDFW and the California Coastal Commission staff to comply with relevant regulations, request guidance and obtain any permits required for work to be conducted at these sites.
Does SoCalGas plan to relocate these 17 wells elsewhere?
As identified in the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), SoCalGas anticipates relocating up to six monitoring wells to SoCalGas’ property to replace the functions of the removed wells and to manage the gas storage field as required by CalGEM.
In the future, SoCalGas will work with CalGEM and other relevant agencies to obtain the required permits and conduct the environmental analysis for the drilling of these replacement wells. According to the final draft of the EIR, SoCalGas plans to drill no more than six replacement wells within the PDR storage facility. The Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project will ultimately result in a decrease of total wells associated with the PDR storage facility.
Where can I find information about the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project and SoCalGas' plans?
The final EIR for the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project, which includes SoCalGas’ well abandonment and relocation plan, was released in December 2019. The EIR may be found at wildlife.ca.gov
More information about the restoration project may be found at ballonarestoration.org.