Governor Brown in California, two months after the methane leak began in Porter Ranch, has declared a state of emergency for the community.
Seven hundred families have voluntarily moved out of their homes in Porter Ranch and SoCal Gas has paid for temporary housing for roughly 2000 households. Judge Emilie Elias ordered the company to relocate these families, yet there has been difficulty finding places for them.
Southern California Gas Co., which has been working to fix the leak, insists there are no health risks to residents.
Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles school board already have declared the crisis an emergency, moving students out of two schools in the neighborhood.
Truth and Action reported earlier:
This methane disaster is worse than can be sufficiently described in words, because while it’s estimated well over 100,000 pounds of methane spew into the atmosphere every hour, the leak can’t be halted, at least until spring. Even then, that stoppage depends entirely on the efficacy of a proposed fix — which remains a dubiously open question.
Though methane, itself, has no odor, the addition of odorants methyl mercaptan and tetrahydrothiophene — a safety measure to alert people by smell to the presence of natural gas — has made the enormous methane seepage impossible to ignore. Thousands of households have evacuated the area, despite little help, much less information, from the gas company about when they might be able to return.
Governor Brown's emergency declaration leads the effort for agencies across the state in curtailing the leak, while also creating regulations for gas-storage facilities across California.