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Porter Ranch gas leak updates

A gas well leak in the upscale San Fernando Valley community of Porter Ranch has poured fumes into the neighborhood. Since the leak began in October, thousands of residents have been relocated to temporary housing. Many are reporting health issues such as headaches, nausea, nosebleeds and dizziness. Southern California Gas Co. predicts the leak will not be plugged until late February, possibly March.

Do you live in the area? Share your story with The Times

Among the key developments:

Gas leak permanently stopped, officials say

"We have good news. The Division of Oil and Gas has confirmed that the leak in the Aliso Canyon storage field is permanently sealed."

Jason Marshall, chief deputy director of the state Department of Conservation.

Officials call for air-quality tests before residents return

Crews inch toward a permanent seal of the Aliso Canyon gas leak. (Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times)
Crews inch toward a permanent seal of the Aliso Canyon gas leak. (Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times)

L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich joined U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and other state and local officials insisting on air-quality testing before Porter Ranch-area residents who have been relocated return home.

Watch the Porter Ranch gas leak stop

This dramatic infrared time-lapse video shows the Aliso Canyon gas plume disappear over seven minutes as crews gain control of the leak.

End of Porter Ranch gas leak could be days away

A relief well is expected to reach the damaged Aliso Canyon gas well as soon as Thursday, regulatory and utility officials said Wednesday, beginning a process to seal the leak.

We're not going to try and pinpoint a date and time for completion of this job for a couple of reasons: We don't want to create false expectations, and we have to expect the unexpected.

Gas company spokeswoman Stephanie Donaldson

Our kids hid from us that they were dizzy, dad says

In Porter Ranch, residents are reporting a range of symptoms related to the gas leak. Some with bloody noses and headaches; others with nothing -- even within the same family. Resident Patrick Perez shares how his family has been affected.

Our family is divided. My wife thinks that her health and my kids’ health has been adversely affected. I spend time away at work and I have not been feeling anything. My wife has had bloody spotting from her nose and muscle spasms. Our kids initially hid from us that they had experienced dizziness because they thought we would blame the iPad.

Could the Aliso Canyon gas leak be capped by the end of the week?

A senior advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown said that the Aliso Canyon gas leak could be capped by the end of the week, though many variables remain.

L.A. County files criminal suit against gas company

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey filed charges Tuesday accusing Southern California Gas Co. of releasing air contaminants and neglecting to initially report the release of hazardous materials. 

A few hours earlier, Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris joined those suing the gas company, saying litigation was needed to hold the utility accountable.

California senators push for federal review

Next week U.S. Sens. Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer will try to add an amendment to energy legislation under consideration in the Senate. It would require Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to conduct a review and make recommendations about stopping the leak and preventing future ones.

Health issues beyond Porter Ranch

Chatsworth is also affected by the gas leak. When the wind blows, you can smell the gas at my home which is a horse ranch... When it's breezy, I'm lethargic and from time to time get nosebleeds.

Susan Eskander
One of Eskander's horses. She has observed health problems in her horses that she thinks are linked to the leak. None
One of Eskander's horses. She has observed health problems in her horses that she thinks are linked to the leak.

Negligence by Southern California Gas Co. led to massive gas leak, AQMD says

A security guard stands at the entry point to Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon storage facility near Porter Ranch. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
A security guard stands at the entry point to Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon storage facility near Porter Ranch. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The government agency that regulates Southern California's air quality sued Southern California Gas Co. on Tuesday, accusing the company of negligence in a massive gas well leak that has forced thousands to leave their homes.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District said the utility's negligence extended to the design, construction, operation and inspection of one of the wells at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility near Porter Ranch, according to the civil complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Regulators order SoCal Gas to take immediate steps, but residents say they fall short

On Saturday, regulators approved a comprehensive abatement order that requires the Southern California Gas  Co. to take immediate steps to contain the  leak affecting Porter Ranch, permanently shut down the damaged well, establish a leak-detection system and conduct an independent health study.

Many of the hundreds of residents and activists who attended Saturday’s hearing expressed disappointment over the order, saying it fell short of calling for the gas company to shut down all of its wells on the site.

There should be no other choice but to shut down the dangerous Aliso Canyon facility and look to close every urban oil and gas facility throughout California and our country, to ensure the health of our communities and our climate is never again sacrificed for corporate polluter profits.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club

SoCal Gas abandons plan to burn gas over risk of catastrophic explosion

Sheryl Goldfarb, who said she has lived in Porter Ranch for 27 years, holds a placard expressing her feelings at a town hall meeting about the gas leak at Shepard of the Hills Church on Friday. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)
Sheryl Goldfarb, who said she has lived in Porter Ranch for 27 years, holds a placard expressing her feelings at a town hall meeting about the gas leak at Shepard of the Hills Church on Friday. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

Southern California Gas Co. said Monday, Jan. 18 that it has abandoned a plan to capture and burn the leaking natural gas that has forced thousands of Porter Ranch residents to relocate, citing safety concerns.

The company made the decision after consulting with state agencies, including the South Coast Air Quality Management District, before concluding that none of the designs could provide “the safety level that SoCalGas believes is required.”

The state Public Utilities Commission had given the gas company a Jan. 19 deadline to address concerns about capturing and burning the gas, noting that the design calls for blowers with electric motors that could spark an explosion.

Close older Aliso Canyon gas wells?

State senators made the case on Monday to shut older natural gas wells at Aliso Canyon until officials and an outside agency can verify that they do not pose a risk to public health.

State Sens. Fran Pavley, center, Bob Huff, left, and Kevin de León, right, hold a news conference outside Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon gate in Porter Ranch on Monday morning, where they announced a legislative package that would address the ongoing gas leak. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
State Sens. Fran Pavley, center, Bob Huff, left, and Kevin de León, right, hold a news conference outside Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon gate in Porter Ranch on Monday morning, where they announced a legislative package that would address the ongoing gas leak. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Of Aliso Canyon’s 111 gas storage wells, 48 were drilled before 1953

State Sen. Fran Pavley's office

Same school, new location

About 1,100 students from Porter Ranch Community School will have their first day Tuesday at a new location at Northridge Middle School. Northridge teachers on Monday prepped their 800 students for the influx.

"I think kids will settle in much quicker than adults." 

Northridge Middle School teacher Phyliss Molo on the Porter Ranch Community School relocation

Everything you need to know about the Porter Ranch school relocation

Porter Ranch Community School science teacher Rosie Van Zyl moves tables with the help of other LAUSD employees in her new classroom at Northridge Middle School. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Porter Ranch Community School science teacher Rosie Van Zyl moves tables with the help of other LAUSD employees in her new classroom at Northridge Middle School. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

While most of LAUSD comes back to school on Monday, the new locations for Porter Ranch and Castlebay Lane will open Tuesday. A guide to transportation, new campuses and more.  

Mapping how the gas leak is affecting lives

I can't go outside and play baseball with my sons. I can't go on walks with my family. My youngest son has been moved to another school. My property value has dropped dramatically. I get headaches, stomach aches...

Scott McClure, Porter Ranch resident

Bloody noses for the first time in 40 years. A Christmas Eve spent vomiting in urgent care. No health impacts whatsoever.

This is how Porter Ranch-area residents responded to an L.A. Times questionnaire on the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak’s effect on their health. We culled through scores of responses and mapped them. Review their experiences or add your own.

Editorial: California's fossil fuel habit is the real emergency

Southern California Gas Co. workers and technical experts attempt to safely stop the flow of natural gas leaking from a storage well at the utility’s Aliso Canyon facility in Porter Ranch. (Javier Mendoza / Associated Press)
Southern California Gas Co. workers and technical experts attempt to safely stop the flow of natural gas leaking from a storage well at the utility’s Aliso Canyon facility in Porter Ranch. (Javier Mendoza / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board highlighted elements of Gov. Jerry Brown's state of emergency proclamation, arguing that regulation is critical, but that the ultimate goal should be cleaner, safer energy sources.

The Porter Ranch leak makes clear the hidden costs of our dependence on fossil fuels.

Erin Brockovich returns to Porter Ranch

Hundreds of residents from Porter Ranch, Chatsworth and Granada Hills met Wednesday night at West Hills Presbyterian Church for a meeting hosted by the Weitz and Luxenberg law firm. Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, who is working with the firm, addressed the crowd and called the Porter Ranch gas leak "way bigger than anything Southern Cal Gas" has acknowledged.

“This is the single biggest environmental disaster -- air disaster -- in my entire career that I have ever worked on. We call this the BP oil spill on land.”

Erin Brockovich

Brown declares state of emergency at Porter Ranch amid massive gas leak

A neighborhood in Porter Ranch. Gov. Jerry Brown visited with residents in the neighborhood, where fumes from a Southern California Gas Co. well have sickened people and forced the relocation of families. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
A neighborhood in Porter Ranch. Gov. Jerry Brown visited with residents in the neighborhood, where fumes from a Southern California Gas Co. well have sickened people and forced the relocation of families. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Jerry Brown declares a state of emergency in Porter Ranch, where thousands of residents have been evacuated due to a massive gas leak.

In declaring the emergency, the governor notes the widespread disruption the gas leak has caused and reiterates the state's efforts to help fix the problem.

All state agencies will utilize state personnel, equipment, and facilities to ensure a continuous and thorough state response to this incident.

Gov. Brown
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