California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Porter Ranch, Los Angeles, on Wednesday, January 6 due a gas well leak from the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
The leak was discovered in October, and the Southern California Gas Company has not been able to fix the problem since.
The order was issued two days after Brown inspected the storage facility and met with the supervisor from the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources. More than 2,000 Porter Ranch residents have been evacuated from their homes ever since the gas leak was discovered in late October.
— 89.3 KPCC (@KPCC) January 6, 2016
“Today's proclamation builds on months of regulatory and oversight actions from seven state agencies mobilized to protect public health, oversee Southern California Gas Company's actions to stop the leak, track methane emissions, ensure worker safety, safeguard energy reliability and address any other problems stemming from the leak,” Brown said in a statement.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, people have been experiencing nausea, headaches, dizziness, and nosebleeding due to prolonged exposure to methane and mercaptans, the pungent-smelling chemical added to natural gas. According to reports, large amounts of methane have been released into the atmosphere due to the Porter Ranch gas leak.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 30, 2015
“Exposures to these chemicals are generally not expected to lead to permanent or long-term health problems. However, short-term, recurrent symptoms may occur with these exposures as long as the odors persist, and some individuals may be more sensitive than others,” it said in a fact sheet.
Watch Aerial Footage of the Porter Ranch Gas Leak
SoCalGas representatives say the company is doing its best to cap off the leak. According to SoCalGas President and CEO Dennis Arriola, they are working with the governor’s office and other state agencies to quickly and safely stop the Porter Ranch gas leak.
The gas company hopes to stop the leak no later than March.