Southern California Gas and its parent company, Sempra Energy, will pay up to $1.8 billion to 35,000 plaintiffs in a settlement related to the country’s largest-ever methane gas leak. In October of 2015, a blowout at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility caused a gas leak that released nearly 100,000 tons of methane and other substances in the air. The leak, which took nearly four months to control, sickened thousands of nearby residents and forced many to leave their homes. In a statement Monday, Sempra and SoCalGas denied any wrongdoing, but previously, state regulators found that the company did not investigate previous well failures or properly assess aging wells. The California Public Utilities Commission is still considering whether to fine the company for actions leading up to the leak. Despite the settlement, many in the community are unhappy that the plant is still operating, and some felt the ruling did not go far enough. Matt Pakucko, a plaintiff and the founder of Save Porter Ranch, a group dedicated to shutting down the facility, said in a statement, “You can’t put a price tag on human suffering. SoCalGas’ devastating blowout will never be behind us until the Aliso Canyon storage facility is shut down and the danger it poses to the community is permanently eliminated. We are nowhere near a resolution.” (Los Angeles Times $, Associated PressSan Diego TribuneTimes of San DiegoNew York Times $)