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South Californian Gas Leak Finally Plugged — But Residents Are Still Wary of Health Risks

Leaks of all kinds can produce massive amounts of waste and pollution. An average family home can leak up to 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year, causing huge extra costs and environmental concerns. But the leak of the year has definitely been the Aliso Canyon gas leak, near Los Angeles.

A ruptured storage well leaked a constant flow of methane gas into the atmosphere from Oct. 23, 2015, to Feb. 11, constituting the largest gas leak in U.S. history.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, more than 100,000 tons of methane was released before the leak was finally plugged. That’s the equivalent of burning 900 million gallons of gasoline.

While California state legislators have introduced a bill to stop the withdrawal of gas from old wells until state inspectors have examined them for safety, activists and residents still want the entire Southern California Gas Co. facility shut down.

The utilities company assured the South Coast Air Quality Management District and community members of Porter Ranch, which was evacuated in the wake of the gas leak, that the methane leaks had been permanently sealed.

“Our concern is with other wells up there,” Jeff Phyllis, resident, said. “Are they paying attention to those wells?”

SoCalGas said crews would be inspecting the 114 wells and sent an “all clear” text to the residents of Porter Ranch on Thursday.

Even though air samples from some homes affected by the leak will be tested, not every single home will be.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, SoCalGas Co. is fighting the state rules that may potentially require it to report how much methane it lost in the leak.

The attorney representing the company stated that they are unable to measure the amount of methane escaping from major leaks.