On Saturday, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in California voted to demand from the utility culpable for a burst subterranean pipeline somewhere around Los Angeles for an independent study on health side effects of an enormous methane leak from the location.
The gas leak is located in a storage field in Aliso Canyon and began on October 23rd, 2015. At this time it ranks as the most severe leak in California history.
These smelly methane fumes got many, many people sick and caused the interim relocation of thousands of residents of the Aliso Canyon area up in northern Los Angeles.
The air quality regulators that voted on Saturday came just short of opting to order the utility to remove more gas from the disabled field under orders from state officials.
For reference, the procedure of gas extraction is intended to relieve pressure on the damaged wellhead and steady the leak.
The facility affected is owned by Southern California Gas Co (SoCalGas) who informed the AQMD that SoCalGas would adhere to the AQMD requirements as long as they do not conflict with the previous requests from the state Public Utilities Commission.
David Holtzman, a member of the AQMD board that voted on Saturday stated, “We may decide in the future to take additional steps but that’s no reason not to take these steps now.”
Los Angeles County health officials reported that studies of this nature of incident have resulted in only short-term health effects from breathing in the gas odorant. However, residents of the Aliso Canyon area have reported complaints of headaches and respiratory irritation. Health officials agree that continued health monitoring is necessary.
While it seems that steps are being taken to amend the situation, residents of the affected area are still extremely upset, demanding that the entire facility be shut down all together.