Latest Aliso Canyon gas leak followed by spike in reported symptoms

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The latest leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility near Porter Ranch was followed by a spike in reported health symptoms involving surrounding residents.

SoCal Gas confirmed that the leak occurred Monday around 5 p.m. Coincidentally, the online monitoring system that allows area residents to view data from the fence-line monitoring system was offline at the time.

Porter Ranch resident Dave Belinsky was driving home last night with his windows down when he said he smelled an odor.

"I'm just frustrated at this point that they keep trying to put a Band-Aid on something that seems to require major surgery," Belinsky said.

Fellow resident John Michaels also noticed something wasn't right.

"I came home and I felt something on my tongue, almost metallic," he described.

SoCal Gas confirmed it did have an unplanned leak at approximately 4:55 p.m. for 50 mins. The company sent out a community alert approximately 90 minutes after the leak was stopped.

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Residents in Porter Ranch, the site of the worst natural gas leak in U.S. history last winter, said they can smell gas again and are getting sick.

The alert stated, in part: "The release did not present a health or safety risk to the community. The highest reading on the fence-line monitors was approximately 66 parts per million. Since the release was stopped those readings have returned to normal levels."

"You'd think that after everything that's happened, all the hubbub they made, the big deal they made about we've got this, it's fixed, everybody is safe now, you'd think they would have done their due diligence," said Cristina Molina, who works in Porter Ranch.

Residents are fed up. This October, Andrew Krowne decided to do something to help by launching an app called, the Environmental Health Tracker.

"What that allows the users to do is to go on their phone when they're feeling a symptom they believe is related to the Aliso Canyon facility, be it a nose bleed, a headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, all those things," Krowne explained.

Their symptoms are kept as part of a centralized data log for all users within an 18-mile radius of the Aliso Canyon storage facility.

Tuesday from 4:55 p.m. on, Andrew said there were multiple reports of odors in the neighborhood. Then, about 100 symptoms were reported.

This is significant, because Krowne said this is the first time they have had a confirmed leak by SoCal Gas and simultaneously had confirmed health complaints by residents.
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