Porter Ranch Gas Leak May Be Traceable
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
A missing safety valve may be at least one reason for a continuous massive leak of 128,000 pounds of methane per hour in California’s San Fernando Valley, resulting in the months-long evacuation of 1,700 Porter Ranch families and closure of 2 area schools. A YouTube video of the gas leak, shot with an Optical Gas Imaging camera, is accessible here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejlOI1iACXw
According to a suit filed by Porter Ranch residents against Southern California Gas Company, a “deep subsurface valve” located 8,500 feet below the surface was reportedly removed and replaced in 1979 at the Company’s Aliso Canyon well. However, it has recently come to light that the Company actually chose not to replace the old, leaking valve because it was not a “critical well.”
Thirty-six years later, on October 23, 2015, the well began to leak, though the invisible gas leak’s source was not discovered for months. According to engineers, the leak probably originates from a hole in a 7-inch diameter pipe 500 feet below the surface and according to the suit, an adequate “deep subsurface valve” would have prevented the leak.
Evacuated Porter Ranch residents have complained of nausea, lethargy, nosebleeds and headaches, among other maladies, from the gas leak, estimated at 1.6 metric tons as of December 22, 2015.
Unfortunately for Porter Ranch residents, the leak will apparently not be plugged until February or March of 2016, necessitating their continued temporary residences away from their homes. An example of the evacuation hardships currently endured by Porter Ranch residents is accessible on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxG4P4yPKXQ
By Kathy Catanzarite
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