At the third in a series of local hearings January 20, the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California postponed a decision on how to shut down the massive methane leak at a natural gas storage facility in the Los Angeles suburb of Porter Ranch.
“The stench of gas fumes has sickened scores of people and led to efforts to temporarily relocate some 6,000 households from the Porter Ranch community of northern Los Angeles at the edge of the leaking Aliso Canyon underground gas storage field,” Reuters reports. “But local and state agencies have raised safety concerns with the proposal to capture and burn off some of the methane, as have engineers for Southern California Gas Co., owner of the crippled facility.”
The Board scheduled a fourth meeting for Saturday, January 23, after hearing from Porter Ranch residents who want Aliso Canyon shut down.
“The company has insisted the leak, while a major public nuisance, poses no immediate public safety threat because the gas dissipates outdoors,” Nicholson writes. “But health officials said long-term health effects remain unknown.”