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Jerry Brown Declares Methane Leak an Emergency

Jerry Brown Declares Methane Leak an Emergency

Update | How the huge gas leak is turning California's Porter Ranch into a ghost town

Methane Leak Declared State of Emergency 

AwN | The story of the methane leak in California is beginning to gain steam as now Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency. Thousands of people a fleeing their homes and many people are also claiming that they are becoming ill, while some experts are claiming that it is mere placebo or hypochondria. The leak is being compared to the BP oil spill, and while it is of a different type, and much harder to see, the comparison is not altogether unfounded. 

Cleanup is still several steps away, and in the end it is next to impossible. First and foremost the leak needs to be stopped, but this has taken months already and may not be completed for more. Meanwhile the greenhouse gas, methane, is burning being released into the atmosphere. and people are being forced from their homes or risking illness. 

Good Time to Protect Against Future Disasters like Porter Ranch Leak

It is as important now as ever to work to fix the regulations that allowed this to happen. It is vital that we understand the problem is systemic and we are part of the system. By living in a society which requires economic growth at all costs, and relies on the lowest price possible, there will always be short cuts taken by corporations to meet the requirements of low cost shoppers. And so when they cut corners, and are not properly regulated these sort of disasters will always happen. The blame can be placed nearly everywhere. 

                                         

 

Governor Brown Declares California Gas Leak a State of Emergency 

EDF | LOS ANGELES – Jan. 6, 2016) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) applauded the order from Governor Jerry Brown declaring the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak an emergency and calling for swift action to stop the massive leak that began more than two months ago. At peak measurement, the leak was pumping 72 million cubic feet of methane into the atmosphere and causing, every day, as much climate damage in the next 20 years as 7 million cars on the road.

Read More at EDF

@ CNN

Porter Ranch Gas Leak Linked to California's Broken UIC Program

NRDC | The well's construction wasn't updated and the valve wasn't fixed because neither safety measure was required. In fact, California's UIC rules don't include any standards for well construction. None.

If a brand new gas injection well is drilled today, there is nothing in the rules to prevent it from being built exactly the same way as the Standard Sesnon 25. And tests used to ensure that wells are in good condition, called mechanical integrity tests, have to be performed only once every five years.

Read More at Switchboard

Huge Gas Leak in Porter Ranch: A Sobering Reminder of the Health Threats from Oil and Gas in California

NRDC | The health threat from this leak comes primarily from exposures to the chemicals known as odorants, tert-butyl mercaptan and tetrahydrothiophene, added to the natural gas to serve as a warning for leaks. The methane, which is the primary ingredient in the gas, is a powerful contributor to global warming and global ozone smog levels but is not toxic to the local community. The gas also contains low levels of other chemicals that can be harmful and the health department has recommended continued monitoring of the air in the Porter Ranch community to keep an eye on the levels of these contaminants.

So far, air testing in the neighborhood has not shown levels of pollutants tied to long-term health damage. But close scrutiny is needed as this drags on and it's no longer a short-term incident. The following are important questions to answer if this leak extends for the additional two to three months currently projected...

Read More at Switchboard

Unprecedented Catastrophe Underway Near Los Angeles, California - Why Haven't We Heard About This From The Mainstream Media?

ANP | Southern California Gas Co., or SoCalGas, has essentially ignored the impact to victims and its actions have instead added to their suffering.The company has refused to release air quality data that could be used to protect its residents, it has made relocation very difficult, and it has forged ahead with plans to expand its facility before the leak has even been contained.

The enormity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak cannot be overstated. Gas is escaping through a ruptured pipe more than 8,000 feet underground, and it shows no sign of stopping. As the pressure from weight on top of the pipe causes the gas to diffuse, it only continues to dissipate across a wider and wider area. According to tests conducted in November by the California Air Resources Board, the leak is spewing 50,000 kilograms of gas per hour — the equivalent to the strength of a volcanic eruption.

At this rate, in just one month, the leak will have accounted for one-quarter of the total estimated methane emissions in the state of California.

Read More at AllNewsPipeline

Previous Headlines

A Huge Natural Gas Leak In Southern California Is Wasting Millions Of Dollars' Worth Of Fuel

IBT | A runaway natural gas leak is spewing millions of dollars' worth of fuel over a California valley. The ruptured storage facility near Los Angeles has so far wasted nearly $11.4 million in gas by one count, a sum that's rapidly growing as utility crews struggle to contain the leak.

The rupture within Southern California Gas Co.'s massive underground system — first reported Oct. 23 — is venting gas at a rate of more than 66,000 pounds per hour, California regulators estimate. More than 2,000 families near the Aliso Canyon facility in the hills above the San Fernando Valley have evacuated to escape the putrid smell of chemicals and potential long-term health risks. The utility said Sunday it expects finally to stem the flow of gas by late February or early March.

Read More at IBTimes

Porter Ranch Gas Leak Crisis: Court Orders 5,000 Evacuations

BB | After reaching a settlement with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office over the massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch, Southern California Gas Company is now under court order to pay up to $8,500 a month per household to evacuate and house about 5,000 residents.

Less than a week ago, Breitbart News reported in ‘Jerry Brown: Another Energy Conflict of Interest that the Southern California environmental disaster had ensnared Governor Jerry Brown after it was discovered that his sister, former California State Treasurer Kathleen L. Brown, is an $188,380 a year Board member of Sempra Energy, the Southern California Gas Company’s parent.

Read More at Breitbart

A slow-motion disaster is unfolding in Los Angeles as a huge, two-month gas leak remains unsealed

QZ | Utility engineers have finally located the source of a natural-gas leak in northwestern Los Angeles that has been spewing greenhouse gases into the air for two months now, but it will still be weeks before they can plug the massive leak. The accident is drawing comparisons to the BP oil spill in the Gulf Mexico five years ago, which similarly took months to contain. 

Methane has been gushing out of a well near the upscale neighborhood of Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley since at least Oct. 23, when Southern California Gas Co., or SoCalGas, detected the leak at its Aliso Canyon facility. 

Although methane dissipates more quickly than carbon dioxide, it’s many times more potent in terms of its power to warm the atmosphere. The escaping gas also contains chemicals that smell like rotten eggs, which are added to detect leaks but make people feel sick. Los Angeles County health authorities say they’ve received “a substantial number of reports” from area residents complaining of headaches, nausea, and other ills. More than 2,000 families have been relocated away from the fumes.

Read More at QZ

Our View: Something rotten in state’s response to gas leak

MSS | In the face of such an environmental crisis, our ultra-green governor has been surprisingly quiet. Perhaps Gov. Jerry Brown hasn’t gotten close enough to sniff the methane in the air. Perhaps invisible gas isn’t as interesting as diesel exhaust. Perhaps he’s gotten assurances from his sister, who sits on the board of directors of Sempra Energy, that this was being taken care of.

Last week, Gov. Brown wrote a letter to SoCal Gas’s CEO, in which the governor stated the obvious – that the gas company has had an inadequate response to the Porter Ranch leak. Duh.

This isn’t merely a local issue. It’s clear the state lacks a plan for dealing with problems – potentially deadly problems – arising from natural gas or methane storage. Brown should be calling upon the legislature to review the rules, regulations and requirements for storing gasses underground. And he should be asking the companies responsible to pay for it. There’s more that could be done.

Read More at MecedSunStar

Progress Made on Effort to Stop L.A. Gas Leak

BNA | SoCalGas has not offered an estimate of the leak rate. The company says it will calculate the lost gas after the leak is stopped and the storage field has stabilized to allow for accurate data analysis.

The California Air Resources Board is making its own estimates. The board has been flying planes through the gas plume to sample methane. The last reported aerial sampling was Dec. 12, producing an estimate of leaking at a rate of 36,000 kilograms per hour for methane, which would be at least 80 percent of the natural gas.

That rate translates into more than 20 million cubic feet of methane a day, or a loss of $44,000 each day at current wholesale gas prices of roughly $2.20 per thousand cubic feet.

Read More at BNA 

 

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