The public is being invited to Goleta City Hall tonight, Monday, December 17, to learn about Southern California Gas Company’s plans to expand and enhance the La Goleta gas storage facility, where the utility hopes to add a few billion cubic feet of room to the existing 21.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas currently kept in the underground reservoir. To do so, the company is seeking to build two production wells, two exploratory wells, and 2,800 feet of underground pipeline, among other facilities.
After preparing an initial environmental report last year and taking public comments, the County of Santa Barbara’s Planning Department recently issued a revised report, which will be presented as part of tonight’s workshop, which starts at 6 p.m. The report has identified a good number of impacts from the project, ranging from biological and cultural to noise, traffic, and fire threats, but determined that only the visual impacts cannot be mitigated down to less than a significant level. That’s because the project includes the use of a large drilling rig, estimated at 172 feet in height, which will be visible from many parts of the Goleta Valley during the many months it is in use.
A detailed explanation of the project can be found here, and those seeking more info should be at Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive, by 6 p.m. tonight. The official meeting to take public comments will be on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 6 p.m. in the County Planning Commission hearing room; comments will be accepted through January 30, 2013 and can be sent here.