Global Warming

Porter Ranch gas leak is a wake-up call

Porter Ranch gas leak is a wake-up call

More than 280 families have fled their homes in Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley, sickened by the smell of a voluminous natural gas leak from underground storage wells. The gas has been seeping from the ground for more than a month, yet Southern California Gas Co. says it might to take another three to four months to shut down the well, which goes 8,500 feet deep.

In the meantime, county health officials have ordered the company to temporarily relocate residents affected by the rotten egg smell of mercaptan, which is added to otherwise odorless natural gas to alert people to leaks, but which can cause nausea, headaches and dizziness. County and city officials have also called...