For about a month now, an enormous natural gas leak in the Santa Susana Mountains has been stinking up the air in the wealthy San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Porter Ranch and the fumes have given residents headaches and nosebleeds. The Southern California Gas Company has spent about that much time trying to fix the leak, but they're having a hell of a time and it seems like it's going to take quite a while to fix the problem, so in the meantime, says the OC Register, they're planning on just spritzing some "deodorizing mist" in the area to clear up the methane smell while they work.
The "odor mitigation system" that the gas company hopes to employ would spray a "food-grade and biodegradable solution" called Odex "in the immediate vicinity of the gas leak" at the gas company's Aliso Canyon, in the hopes of cutting down the rank, rotten-egg smell of methane in Porter Ranch. Company officials explained to the LA County Board of Supervisors at a meeting on Tuesday that the mist is totally safe and would effectively neutralize the stink while repairs continue, though residents are pretty skeptical. (Safe or not, as of today, the gas company's update on the situation says that the odor mitigation system is "on hold" until input from the community and the South Coast Air Quality Management District comes in.)
And those repairs are likely to take a while. "[T]he leak has stumped the gas company," which initially and unsuccessfully tried to plug the leak located a few hundred feet below the well's surface. Their new plan is to fix things by drilling a relief well, which is expected to take months. Officials with the gas company assured residents that the methane leaking out of the well is "dispersing" and that it's not a hazard to them beyond giving them awful headaches and nausea. In the four weeks that the leak's been active, it's estimated that it's released "the equivalent of a quarter of the methane the state produced all month."
· Utility plans to mask awful odor from uncontrolled gas leak in Los Angeles [OC Register]
· An Insane Amount of Natural Gas is Leaking Into the Valley's Porter Ranch Neighborhood [Curbed LA]