What is the Methane Buffer Zone Map of Los Angeles?

The map below is the official Los Angeles City Publication showing each Methane Buffer Zone, per City Ordinance 175790. Properties within these map areas are subject to Methane Buffer Zone Testing and Methane Mitigation. For help identifying a parcel on this map, call (888) 930-6604 to speak with a professional geologist. Geo Forward is an official methane testing and mitigation agency for the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety or LADBS. Updated April 9, 2024.

Basis of the Methane Buffer Zone Map

The zoning information on this map is per the identifiable locations of historical crude oil and natural gas extraction activities. Additionally, landfilling activities warrant subsurface combustible gas concerns as well. In fact, LA City Methane Zones are typically areas within close proximity to these types of natural gas sources. In the same way, LA City Methane Buffer Zones are the areas within general proximity. However, not as significant as methane zones.

What to Expect from a Methane Buffer Zone

Theoretically, a methane buffer zone anticipates lower methane gas concentrations, by comparison to an actual methane zone. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, some methane zones are within oil field (or spill) areas, that have remained unknown to the City of Los Angeles thus far. In such cases, higher levels of methane are observable from methane buffer zones by comparison to methane zones. And for this reason, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety anticipates that all sites have the potential to result in Level-1 through Level-5 categories.

Los Angeles Methane Zone Map: Locate a property on this map to determine if methane zone testing or methane buffer zone mitigation is needed.
Source: City of Los Angeles Methane Zones Map – Showing Methane Zone & Methane Buffer Zone Properties.

Methane Testing & Mitigation

Typically, properties within a methane buffer zone require methane testing, unless developers default to a costly Level-5 mitigation system. Methane testing is the process by which site-specific methane concentrations are studied. And the results of a methane test apply to the building code, for methane mitigation parameters. At a minimum, a methane mitigation system comprises a special impervious vapor barrier to block the gas from migrating indoors. The construction of a vapor barrier can be costly. However, affordable options do exist. Nonetheless, a proper determination of soil gas conditions can be helpful. And the process starts by referencing this map during the planning phase of the project.


Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering
Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS)