California Methane Leak Disaster

California Methane Leak Disaster Is Costing American Taxpayers A “MILLION DOLLARS PER MINUTE” for every minute it leaks into atmosphere!

California Methane Leak Goes From Bad To Worse!!!!

## Already affecting THE ENTIRE PLANET

## ATTORNEY GENERAL files Lawsuit

## Scientists say it is officially “awful”

Getty Images for Variety

California Attorney General Kamala Harris speaks onstage at the 2014 Variety Power of Women presented by Lifetime at Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons on October 10, 2014 in Los Angeles.

California’s attorney general announced a lawsuit Tuesday against Southern California Gas Company that alleges violations of state law in connection with a months-long gas leak in the San Fernando Valley.

Thousands of people living near the Aliso Canyon facility in Porter Ranch have temporarily relocated, two local schools have closed and thousands of students have been relocated for the rest of the school year.

Gas Leak Tech Introduced

Attorney Generla Kamala Harris’ lawsuit claims the utility violated California health and safety laws to quickly control the leak and report the release to authorities. The lawsuit also cites an environmental threat due to the release of methane.

“The impact of this unprecedented gas leak is devastating to families in our state, our environment, and our efforts to combat global warming,” Harris said in a statement. Southern California Gas Company must be held accountable,” said Harris in a statement. “This gas leak has caused significant damage to the Porter Ranch community as well as our statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the impacts of climate change. My office will continue to lead this cross-jurisdictional enforcement action to ensure justice and relief for Californians and our environment.”

Business Affected by Porter Ranch Gas Leak Getting Relief

A nonprofit organization is making $5 million in loans and other financial assistance available to businesses affected by the ongoing natural gas leak near Porter Ranch. Annette Arreola reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016)

The lawsuit seeks relief in the form of injunction, civil penalties, and restitution.

SoCalGas issued a statement saying company is “working hard to both stop the leak and adress our neighbors’ concerns. Beyond that, we do not comment on pending litigation and will respond to the lawsuit through the judicial process.”

GRAPHIC: Porter Ranch Gas Leak Relief Well Operation

The city and county of Los Angeles have already filed suit against SoCalGas over the leak, which was discovered Oct. 23. Late last month, Southern California air regulators approved a sweeping abatement order aimed at minimizing the release of natural gas.

Also Tuesday, Rep. Brad Sherman, who has a home in  Porter Ranch close to the site of the Southern California Gas Co. gas leak,  announced that he plans to introduce legislation designed to prevent more  leaks in the future. Sherman noted in a statement that the Department of Transportation  Materials Safety Administration has established federal safety regulations for  natural gas transportation.

Residents Fear They’ll Have to Pay for Gas Leak

Hundreds of angry Porter Ranch homeowners had one lingering question — why has this leak been allowed to happen? Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. (Published Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016)

Porter Ranch Gas Leak FAQ

The Horror of the Invisible Disaster

Just how big is the natural gas leak in California?

Science Friday

Writer Elizabeth Shockman (follow)

natural-gas.jpg

Crews from Southern California Gas Company and outside experts work on a relief well at the Aliso Canyon gas field above the Porter Ranch section of northwest Los Angeles, California.

Credit:

Dean Musgrove/Reuters

It’s been more than two months since inspectors uncovered a colossal natural gas leak in California’s Aliso Canyon, and it will take at least another month, possibly two, to plug it up, according to Southern California Gas Company’s latest estimates.

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“On a scale of of actual emissions, of the size of the leak, this is dwarfing anything that’s happened like that before in this area or really almost in any other area in this country,” says Stanford University environmental scientist Rob Jackson, “This is very unique and very unusual.”

The invisible methane plume, captured on infrared camera by the Environmental Defense Fund, has driven thousands of nearby residents out of their homes, shut down two schools, and cancelled out a chunk of the state’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

The Aliso Canyon storage field is one of about 420 underground storage places for natural gas. Jackson says most gas storage fields are old oil and gas fields, more similar in structure to enormous subterranean honeycombs than to actual hollowed-out caverns.

“You can think of these underground storage fields as a balloon underground,” Jackson says, “They just keep pumping gas into it and it gets to a very, very high pressure. And if the knot on that balloon comes untied, then the gas jets out and it takes a long time for that air to finish. It just keeps jetting out and that’s what’s happening at Aliso Canyon.”

So far the Southern California gas company has tried using mud and brines to counterbalance the pressure of the leaking gas, but their efforts so far have failed. Now the gas is bubbling down and out around the cement sheath.

“At this point, it’s an uncontrolled release … that’s just belching natural gas — about 2.5 million pounds of methane every day,” Jackson says.

Some have called this the worst environmental disaster since the B.P. oil spill. Jackson says it’s unprecedented.

“This leak is bigger than the methane that’s emitted by all industrial activities in California, including the entire oil and gas industry. It’s huge,” Jackson says.

In terms of global methane emissions, though, Jackson says this leak is not that big of a concern.

“You’re not going to see a massive spike in the atmosphere because of this leak. It’s huge, but it’s not that huge,” Jackson says.

The leak is also not likely to cause too much bad interaction with the ozone in Los Angeles.

“The ozone in Los Angeles is catalyzed by hydrocarbons, rather than nitrogen oxides, but it’s not typically catalyzed by light hydrocarbons such as methane and ethane. And it’s also winter. And it’s rainy. So that would only likely be an issue if this went into the summer — and even then it might not be the biggest issue,” Jackson says.

The really big concern? There may perhaps be other traces of toxic gases in the leak that could cause devastating health effects to people in the area.

“The thing that people are most concerned about are the trace gases,” Jackson says. “What else is in that air at low concentrations that could cause health effects long term?”

This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Science Friday.

In Science, Tech & Environment (follow)  and Environment (follow)  .

Tagged: North America   United States   California   environment   Climate Cha

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