The perplexing gas leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility near the San Fernando Valley community of Porter Ranch has been spewing an enormous amount of methane gas (and a lovely rotten egg aroma) into the air since late October, at a rate of 110,000 pounds per hour. As the natural disaster has grown, thousands have been relocated and lawsuits have been filed, but the Southern California Gas Company hasn't even been able to find the leak. Well, they've finally narrowed it down a bit—while the company is still "not sure of the exact location of the leak," they "[suspect] it is within a shallow level — within the first several hundred feet of the 8,700-foot well," a spokesperson for the company tells the LA Times.
The company's plan to drill a relief well is now underway, reports the Daily News, and they're drilling a second, backup relief well too, in case the first one doesn't do the trick. The main relief well won't be complete until March, though; the backup well will only begin to be drilled in January, with completion taking between three and four months.
While the efforts to fix the massive leak are in progress, methane continues to billow out of the breach and into the air. A video, released last week by the Environmental Defense Fund, documents the extent of the gas leak, with the methane showing up on tape as a fittingly ominous black cloud—it's the "first birds'-eye view" of the leak, according to a release from the EDF. Previous ground-level views were already pretty terrifying, but from above the gas leak looks even worse.
Nearby residents—who have been complaining of headaches, nosebleeds, and the nasty smell of the gas for months—have been relocating with the help of the Southern California Gas Company, but there are divergent opinions on how effective the efforts have been. Last week, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer asked a court to grant a temporary restraining order in Porter Ranch to help speed up relocation of families who are affected by the severe methane leak.
A release from Feuer's office says that if the temporary restraining order is granted, it would require the Southern California Gas Company to foot the bill to hire retired judges to oversee relocation of all residents in the area, require the company to accommodate all relocation requests within 48 hours of receiving them, find accessible lodging for residents with disabilities, and board pets who reside in the "affected area."
· First Aerial Footage of Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Leak [YouTube]
· Leaking gas well located in Porter Ranch as relocation requests rise [LADN]
· SoCal Gas pinpoints the site of a leaking well near Porter Ranch [LAT]
· An Insane Amount of Natural Gas is Leaking Into the Valley's Porter Ranch Neighborhood [Curbed LA]
· Watch Methane Gas Eerily Float Over the Hills Near the Huge Porter Ranch Gas Leak [Curbed LA]