PSE Energy Quarterly is the newsletter of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, a nonprofit research institute dedicated to supplying evidence-based scientific and technical information on the public health, environmental, and climate dimensions of energy production and use.
Aliso Canyon Reckoning
Explosions, fires, and toxic air-pollution emissions top the list of human health risks associated with California’s underground natural-gas storage system, according to a report released January 18 by the California Council on Science and Technology. In addition, workers and neighboring communities are exposed to health-damaging pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene that are emitted during both routine operations and uncontrolled blowouts at these facilities, the report found — chemicals that are associated with health issues such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, respiratory illness, and some cancers.
The health assessment, led by PSE Healthy Energy, was part of a report (Section 1.4, pages 167-279) commissioned in the wake of the 2015 well blowout at the SoCalGas-operated Aliso Canyon natural-gas storage field in Southern California, which is widely considered to be the largest single-source release of methane in U.S. history. Read the news story.