SoCal Gas may take months to fix ongoing gas leak in Porter Ranch

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The chief executive of the Southern California Gas Company apologized to Porter Ranch residents on Tuesday after announcing that an ongoing gas leak causing a sickening smell in the community may take months to fix.

Dennis Arriola said the leak will take three to four months to stop due to the time required for drilling a relief well, which was determined to be the only solution to the problem that began in October.

The issue started when methane gas began leaking from the Aliso Canyon storage facility in Porter Ranch, where residents said they've complained for weeks of the odor.

"It does feel like they're hiding information and keeping things on the down low," said Danielle Michaels, a resident. "The community is having to research and find out things."

L.A. City Council members heard reports from several experts to try to figure out how to stop it and if it is causing any health problems for residents, as many said they've been plagued by headaches, nausea and nosebleeds.

Meanwhile, there was another hearing at the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors with state regulatory officials.

When asked whether the agency knows what caused the leak and why is has been so complicated to fix, State Oil and Gas Supervisor Steve Bohlen said there were only theories about what caused the problem, but nothing official was determined.

Due to the ongoing issue with residents in the community, however, SoCal Gas officials said that after the well is capped, it will be shut down permanently.

"There is no plan or goal here to try to salvage this well," stated Jimmie Cho, senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity. "We are going to permanently abandon it once we stop the flow of gas."
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