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Homes are seen in Porter Ranch near the site of the Aliso Canyon storage field where gas has been leaking in Porter Ranch

Homes are seen in Porter Ranch near the site of the Aliso Canyon storage field where gas has been leaking in Porter Ranch, California, United States, January 21, 2016. Long before the leak, utilities and national industry groups were raising alarms about the danger of aging underground storage infrastructure. Under state regulations, the leaking well’s owner, Southern California Gas, faces a maximum penalty of $25,000 for the leak near Los Angeles, which is unprecedented in scale. The well has spewed methane - a potent greenhouse gas - since October and displaced thousands of people in nearby Porter Ranch. To match Exclusive LOSANGELES-GAS LEAK/REGULATION REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

California natural gas leak

On Oct. 23, the Southern California Gas Co. discovered a rupture in an underground pipe linking nearby Aliso Canyon, one of the country’s largest natural-gas storage reservoirs, to the surface of the earth. Authorities soon determined that the amount of methane leaking from Aliso Canyon each day —2.5 million pounds, the most in U.S. history — was roughly equivalent, in terms of environmental impact, to the daily emissions from six coal-fired power plants, 2.2 million cows, or 4.5 million cars.

Local children — and pets — began to suffer from headaches, nosebleeds, and vomiting. The Federal Aviation Administration, fearing that a plane would ignite the massive methane cloud hovering over the area, instituted a no-fly zone. More than 2,500 families fled their homes. Lawsuits were filed (including new criminal charges Wednesday against the SoCalGas.). Business struggled to stay open. Property values plummeted. Even today, more than three months later, the leak still isn’t under control. All told, Porter Ranch has become one of the worst environmental disasters in recent memory, with a carbon footprint larger than the catastrophic BP oil spill of 2010. (Andrew Romano for Yahoo News)

See FULL STORY by Andrew Romano for Yahoo News


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