More Than 130 Families Relocated Due to Gas Leak

It could take officials three more months to stop the leak
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 27, 2015 5:00 PM CST
More Than 130 Families Relocated Due to Gas Leak
SoCalGas crews and technical experts try to stop the flow of natural gas leaking from a storage well that residents say is making them sick earlier this month.   (Javier Mendoza/SoCalGas via AP, File)

More than 130 families have been temporarily relocated from a Los Angeles neighborhood due to a leak at a massive natural gas storage facility that's causing a sickening stench. SoCalGas officials had received 503 inquiries as of Wednesday night from residents seeking relocation, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Nearly 250 wouldn't accept the offered accommodations and opted to find housing on their own, SoCal Gas spokesperson Javier Mendoza said. More than 650 Porter Ranch residents have complained about the rotten-egg smell, nausea, headaches, and dizziness since the leak was discovered in late October. SoCalGas officials have said they planned to use a mist to mask the stench as work continues for possibly three more months to plug the well.

City and county officials have called on the state to help control the leak. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered SoCalGas to provide free, temporary relocation assistance at San Fernando Valley hotels. The company is also providing mileage and food reimbursements for those who have left their homes. SoCalGas has 115 wells at the site that pump natural gas into an empty, underground oil field and is believed to be the largest natural gas storage facility in the West. It is capable of supplying all of Southern California for more than a month. Company and public officials have said the field is not at risk of exploding and the natural gas does not pose any health problems. (More natural gas stories.)

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