LOS ANGELES— Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer is suing the Southern California Gas Company due to a 6-week old leak that forced residents to leave their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times. It has been reported by ABC News that the gas leak sparked symptoms in local residents, including dizziness, nausea, nosebleeds and headaches.
“No community should have to endure what Porter Ranch residents have suffered. It’s not only the odor — it’s the potential health issues from long-term exposure to chemicals including benzene; the impact on the daily lives of thousands of families; and the enormous greenhouse gas emissions that remain unmitigated,” said Feuer in a statement.
The site is believed to be the largest natural gas storage in the west and has the capacity to supply all of California for 1 month. Efforts are being made to quickly repair the atmospheric damage and fines could go up to $2,500 per day for violations.
The California Gas Company has informed Canyon News that there is no known cause of the leak at this time. Once the cause is confirmed, the company will merge with regulatory agencies and officials to remedy the problem.
The leak, according to Melissa Bailey of SoCal Gas is in a localized area, away from homes and businesses. In outdoor areas, such as this, gas tends to quickly dissipate.
According to the Los Angeles City Council, numerous steps are being implemented to stop the leak, such as pumping fluids into the impacted site to reduce pressure, attachment of pipes to the leaking well so they can collect gas and use it in their system, drawing gas from adjacent wells to reduce pressure and to search for ways to reduce the odor in the air.
No evacuations has been made. The lawsuit alleges that the leak is producing about 100,000 pounds of methane gas an hour into the atmosphere, equivalent to 200,000 cars running up to a year.
The company has since issued a public apology lead by Dennis Arriola, during a Los Angeles City Council hearing.
“We fell short of your expectations and, quite frankly, ours as well,” said Arriola.