Porter Ranch leak sealed off, now on to Exide


State officials and SoCal Gas announced this morning that the leaking natural gas well in Aliso Canyon above Porter Ranch has been finally sealed off. That ends an episode that has been going on since Oct. 23 — well, ends it except for the lawsuits, the studies of potential ongoing health effects, and the lingering damage to businesses, family and school life and property values. SoCal Gas has been paying the costs several thousands Porter Ranch residents to live elsewhere, and now they will have eight days to move back home. The LAUSD is also making preparations for two schools to reopen.

“This is obviously an important day that we’ve all been waiting for,” SoCal Gas President and CEO Dennis Arriola said at a news conference. “I recognize the disruption that this gas leak has caused to your lives.”

Daily News story | Timeline | LA Times | AP

The well, SS 25 in the Aliso Canyon Storage Field on the southern flank of the Santa Susana Mountains, blasted out odorized methane for 118 days. The state estimates that 94,067 metric tons of the greenhouse gas was released into the atmosphere. Numerous residents complained of headaches and nosebleeds from inhaling the gas.

Meanwhile, across town the official reaction to the Aliso Canyon leak seems to have increased focus on the possible lead contamination of homes and parks within 1.7 miles of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon. Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday called on the state to spend $176.6 million to speed up the testing and cleanup of potentially thousands of lead-contaminated homes. LAT story, KPCC

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