Just Months After The Largest Natural Gas Leak In U.S. History, Porter Ranch Is Hit With Another Leak

This photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 shows a neighborhood in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles where residents have moved out because of a natural gas leak from a Southern California Gas Co. storage facility. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/BRIAN MELLEY
This photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 shows a neighborhood in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles where residents have moved out because of a natural gas leak from a Southern California Gas Co. storage facility. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/BRIAN MELLEY

Porter Ranch already experienced the largest recorded natural gas leak in U.S. history over the winter, when a leak at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility spewed more than 97,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. Thousands of families were evacuated during the nearly four-month long leak, which was sealed in February.

Over the weekend, the neighborhood was hit with another natural gas leak.

“This is horrible,” Porter Ranch resident Gabriel Khanlian told ThinkProgress. “This issue is not over with in any way.”

Residents had been complaining that the smell of natural gas, recognizable by a potent odorant, was again wafting through their Los Angeles neighborhood. On Saturday, their claims were validated when Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), which owns the facility and the well that failed over the winter, reported that a separate company was responsible for another natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon.

“Earlier today we become aware that a third party company that operates at the Aliso Canyon site experienced a localized oil spill with gas venting at their petroleum well. This well is not owned or operated by SoCalGas,” the company told residents in an email notification Saturday.

A spokesman for Crimson Resource Management told CBS Los Angeles that it was not a significant leak. “It’s something we work very hard at avoiding, but things happen. It was a minor repair — a turn of a wrench — and it’s done,” Scott Buntmann said.

The Scariest Part Of California’s Gas Leak Wasn’t Rashes And Bloody Noses. It’s What Happens Next.Tatiana Khanlian is 2 years old. Over four months this winter, she had rashes along her arms, spontaneous bloody noses…thinkprogress.orgThis weekend’s leak was actually the second reported since this winter’s massive blowout. In January, regulators found that yet another company operating in the canyon was illegally, intentionally venting natural gas.

There are 113 natural gas storage wells at the Aliso Canyon site. Residents in Porter Ranch, the adjoining neighborhood, want the facility shut down altogether.

SoCalGas and California regulators have reported that shutting Aliso Canyon down will run the risk of blackouts during the hot, energy-intensive summer months in Southern California, although the data behind their reports has been criticized by environmentalists and capacity experts.

In the meantime, more than 600 plaintiffs are suing SoCalGas and a slew of regulators for failing to protect the Porter Ranch community. On Friday, lawyers filed a claim for $3.5 million per person, including $1.5 million in property and economic damages and $1 million for personal injury damages.