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California proposes new rules after natural gas blowout

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- California oil and gas regulators have proposed stiff new regulations for underground gas storage facilities after a blowout drove 8,000 families from their Los Angeles homes.

The Department of Conservation issued proposed new rules Friday that followed a massive gas leak capped last year after leaking nearly four months.

The proposed rules apply to the state's 12 underground natural gas storage fields.

The head of the department's oil and gas division says these will be the strictest regulations for underground gas storage in the nation.

The agency was widely criticized for being lax with industry before the 2015 blowout at the Southern California Gas Co. facility above the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley.

The blowout led to widespread complaints of headaches, nosebleeds, nausea and other maladies.