Congressman Brad Sherman tours site of Porter Ranch gas leak

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Congressman Brad Sherman toured the site of an ongoing gas leak near Porter Ranch on Tuesday, questioning whether things will ever be safe for the community.

Congressman Brad Sherman toured the site of an ongoing gas leak near Porter Ranch on Tuesday, questioning whether things will ever be safe for the community.

Sherman, along with state and city lawmakers, visited the site of the leaking well after the Southern California Gas Company set a timetable to hopefully cap the leak by late February.

The plan was to send fluids, cement and mud through a relief well to clog the damaged well.

After looking closely at the relief well, Sherman was not convinced it will work and construction of a backup well was behind schedule.

"You are trying to hit a pipe from drilling down a mile and a half - that's not an easy thing to do. Success is not guaranteed. There's no guarantee that relief well one will be successful, and relief well two is behind the schedule that I would have liked to have seen," Sherman said.

Thousands of residents have already left their homes and many were also not optimistic.

"I'm not convinced they are going to cap it next month or they wouldn't be building that second relief well," said Lin McDonough, a Porter Ranch resident. "If they were a 100 percent sure they could catch it with the first relief, well then they wouldn't need the second well."

Lawmakers said as the leaking gas continues to travel miles beyond the Porter Ranch area, SoCal Gas has expanded its outreach to help residents within a 5-mile radius of the damaged well.

Sherman said most residents in Granada Hills and Chatsworth, all of Porter Ranch and a large chunk of Northridge can get help that consists of relocation or putting carbon filters on heating and cooling systems.

Meantime, the South Coast Air Quality Management District will hold a hearing on Wednesday to address residents' concerns. Residents will be shuttled by bus from a site in Northridge to the SCAQMD headquarters in Diamond bar for the 9 a.m. meeting. The hearing can be viewed on the SCAQMD website, www.aqmd.gov/home/library/live-webcast.

Also, the Los Angeles County Health Department will hold a separate meeting at 10 a.m. to address its response to the gas leak.
Related Topics:
newsgas leakgas fumesporter ranch gas leakPorter RanchLos Angeles
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