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State of Emergency Declared in California over Methane Leak

Posted by feww on January 7, 2016

Massive Methane Leak Continues in SoCal

Gov. Brown has declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles area after a massive methane gas leak in Aliso Canyon continued to sicken the residents for more than two months.

The leak, which was allegedly discovered on October 23, is spewing about 62 million cubic feet of methane gas into the environment each day, with a total of about 79,500 metric tons of the powerful climate pollutant released so far.

The leak is currently spewing between 33,000 and 50,000 kg/hr of the GHG, which is said to be the equivalent of a quarter of California’s total methane emissions from all sources.

The emissions are making the residents sick. Thousands of the residents have experienced nausea, dizziness, vomiting, nosebleeds, and headaches among other symptoms from the hazardous gas.

As of December 29m, some 6,500 families had filed for help, but only about 2,250 were relocated, with another 120 or so staying with family or friends.

Aliso Canyon storage field in Northridge, Los Angeles County, California is owned and operated by Southern California Gas Company, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy.

Methane – the main component of natural gas – is a powerful short-term climate forcer, with over 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it is released. Methane is estimated to be leaking out of the Aliso Canyon site at a rate of about 62 million standard cubic feet, per day. The daily leakage has the same 20-year climate impact as driving 7 million cars a day. EDF

The following statement was issued by Brown’s office:

SACRAMENTO – Given the prolonged and continuing duration of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and at the request of residents and local officials, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation that declares the situation an emergency and details the administration’s ongoing efforts to help stop the leak. The order also directs further action to protect public health and safety, ensure accountability and strengthen oversight of gas storage facilities.

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