LA City Council OKs a study that could help close San Pedro gas storage facility

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The Los Angeles City Council has called for a study evaluating the cost and timeline for closing a gas storage facility in San Pedro that has been in operation since 1973.

Council members voted unanimously on Wednesday, May 8, in favor of a motion introduced by Councilmember Tim McOsker, who represents the 15th District, which includes the Harbor Area. McOsker had requested an amortization study of the Rancho LPG Facility, a butane and propane storage site, in hopes of finding a pathway for its closure.

“These are two tanks capable of holding 25 millions of butane,” McOsker told his colleagues prior to the vote. “We’ve have (had) a number of motions over the years to look at safety measures and try to conform this use more closely to the surrounding uses of recreational, educational and residential.”

Councilman Tim McOsker speaks to attendees at a community meeting on gun violence at the USS Iowa in San Pedro on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (Photo by Raphael Richardson, Contributing Photographer)

He added, “I appreciate the support from this council to look at an amortization study for this very use. I realize the significance of that, and we will be talking about it in just a couple of hours at budget — about the costs of such a study and the costs of managing it all the way to its completion.”

The councilman noted that the termination of the facility has been of urgent need and concern in San Pedro for the last 30 years.

McOsker introduced the motion, seconded by Heather Hutt, calling for the study in April. The motion stated that in 2022 the City Council voted to ban new oil drilling in the city and require all existing oil extractions to phase out production pursuant to an amortization study. The Rancho LPG, however, did not fall under those rules because it is a storage facility rather than a drilling site.

The study is expected to provide “expert information” that can lead to its termination, and outline possible remediation of the site.

According to a 2023 petition to the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of the San Pedro Peninsula Homeowners United Inc. and the Tongva Ancestral Territorial Tribal Nation, studies have indicated that a catastrophic incident at the facility involving a release of butane could potentially cause more than 2,500 deaths, 12,500 injuries and also major destruction for the Port of Los Angeles and its related infrastructure.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.