A year after Porter Ranch gas leak, new safety recommendations issued

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A year after the massive leak at the Southern California Gas Co. site near Porter Ranch, a federal task force has issued dozens of new safety recommendations for all of the nation's natural gas storage facilities.

The leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility was first observed Oct. 23, 2015. By the time it was capped almost four months later, it was the nation's largest methane leak ever, emitting around 100,000 tons into the air and forcing thousands of families to relocate for months.

To prevent another such massive leak a federal task force has released more than 40 safety recommendations for the nation's more than 400 natural-gas facilities.

They include recommending that all wells contain a backup system allowing crews to be able shut off a leak quickly no matter what. Workers could not do that during the Aliso Canyon leak because there was no backup system.

The federal report also calls for a unified command between multiple agencies and how best to inform the public about potential health risks during a leak.

Meanwhile, many people living near the facility are still calling for it to be shut down.

Porter Ranch resident Tanya Aghishian says after all the heartache residents went through during the enormous leak, shutting the facility down is the safest option.

"I don't trust the government with anything," she said. "They take too long to do anything. I still suffer with nose bleeds."

Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement following the federal recommendations: "We can't let it happen again. I am grateful to the Obama Administration's Interagency Task force on Natural Gas Safety for recommendations that will help protect the public health and the environment."
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