A blowout at a natural gas well that gushed uncontrollably for 16 weeks and drove thousands of residents from their Los Angeles homes was plugged on Thursday, 11 February 2016. While the well still needs to be permanently sealed with cement and inspected by state regulators, the announcement marked the first time the leak has been under control since it was reported 23 October.In response to a petition from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency’s independent Hearing Board today ordered SoCalGas to take immediate action to minimize odors and air pollution from a massive gas leak near Porter Ranch. Once the leak is stopped, the order requires that SoCalGas permanently shut down the well causing the leak. It also requires enhanced air quality monitoring in the nearby community and completion of a health study on the potential health effects of well emissions on residents in the Porter Ranch area. And it requires a comprehensive leak detection program for all other wells in the Aliso Canyon facility to help prevent future leaks.
Methane is not considered toxic, but it is flammable in very high concentrations.
Measurements conducted by SCAQMD staff and other agencies in the Porter Ranch community show that methane levels are far below the concentrations where flammability could be a concern.
The levels of odorants in the Porter Ranch community are generally low. However, even such low levels of odorants can be smelled in air and can cause some physiological symptoms, consistent with many of the symptoms reported by community members living near the leaking well, such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Other symptoms, such as cough and eye irritation have also been associated with these odorants. Health experts do not expect any long term effects from these odorants, although there is limited scientific information available.
Learn more at http://methaneeducation.weebly.com