Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Chapter 4 : Human health hazards, risks, impacts associated with underground gas storage in California : Draft Chapter Prepared for the California Council on Science and Technology



Kuldeep R. Prasad


In this chapter we assess the environmental public health and occupational health hazards, risks, and impacts associated with underground gas storage in California. Specifically we assess the public health hazards, risks and impacts of UGS storage in California using three primary approaches: (1) Analysis of air toxic emission data reported to regional air districts and the State; (2) Analysis of risks of population exposures to air toxics and explosions using numbers, density and demographics of people in proximity to UGS facilities and air dispersion modeling; and (3) An assessment of air quality and human health impact datasets collected during the Aliso Canyon UGS facility loss of containment event at the SS-25 well. The approach we take to assess human health hazards, risks, and impacts follows the general recommendations of the National Research Council (NRC, 1983; 1994; 1996; 2009) to compile, analyze and communicate the state of the science on the human health hazards, risks, and impacts associated with UGS in California. Human health hazards of underground gas storage include human exposure to airborne toxic chemicals and other health-damaging air pollutants and explosions and fires during normal operations and larger loss of containment events. There are also risks of subsurface migration of gases and other fluids associated with gas storage into groundwater resources that may be used currently or in the future for drinking water, or other uses that can create exposure pathways to people. In our assessment of the scientific literature, available emissions inventory, air pollution and human health monitoring datasets, and population characterization for community and occupational exposures indicate the following: (1) There are a number of human health hazards associated with UGS in California and that these health hazards are predominantly attributable to exposure to air toxics and explosions during large loss of containment events. However, UGS facilitie
Long Term Viability of Gas Storage Study
Publisher Info
California Council for Science and Technology, Berkeley, CA


Natural Gas Storage Facilities
Created January 20, 2018, Updated June 11, 2020