Santa Maria Valley residents may spot a low-flying helicopter over the area Monday, but should not be alarmed about it.

The Bell JetRanger helicopter flight will occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., weather permitting, according to Southern California Gas Co.

Flying at an altitude of 500 feet (within normal Federal Aviation Administration regulations), the helicopter will employ new technology to detect methane emissions.

For its mission, the helicopter will fly back and forth in a “lawnmower” pattern, according to SoCalGas, which indicated the expected flight area over Orcutt and western Santa Maria.

SoCalGas officials said there is no threat to the community and that the operation is part of SoCalGas’ state Senate Bill 1371 emissions reduction program.

For more information, call the SoCalGas Customer Contact Center at 1.800.427.2200.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.