The Aliso Canyon gas leak, which was reported Oct. 23, prompted the temporary relocation of thousands of residents in Porter Ranch and surrounding communities. Residents complained of symptoms related to the odorants in the gas. Small businesses struggled to remain profitable. And questions remain about the long-term impact on property values.
Gas crews reached the leak Thursday. They injected fluids and then cement to seal the leak. Gas officials are now working with the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources on a series of tests to confirm that the well is permanently sealed, according to a spokesman for the utility.
Late Tuesday, the California Air Resources Board and Air Quality Management District announced an air monitoring plan for the Porter Ranch community.
The two agencies will specifically monitor for methane, mercaptans, benzene and hydrogen sulfide released from the Aliso Canyon storage field. Infrared cameras and aircraft will also be used to determine whether methane is escaping from SS-25.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) announced last week that she wanted an agency, such as the management district, to conduct a study to determine what's in the air once the natural gas leak is sealed.
The energy secretary's visit came just days after Boxer met with Porter Ranch residents about the leak.
In an amendment to a federal energy bill last month, Boxer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Moniz to lead a federal review into the cause and response to the gas leak. Moniz said that Tuesday's visit will help shape that review, which may begin once the energy bill is approved.