The Porter Ranch gas leak resulted in contaminants in nearby homes, which led to serious health concerns, but crews have almost finished the clean-up.
In October of 2015, thousands of Californians living in Porter Ranch had to be relocated due to a gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility. The leak allowed methane gas to exit one of the wells and pollute the air. Residents in the area experienced breathing difficulties, headaches and other ailments. It was recently reported, however, that the court ordered clean-up is almost complete and people will soon be able to return to their homes.
Court ordered clean-up
Even after the leak was plugged, there were contaminants found in Porter Ranch homes. The test results combined with the resulting health impact prompted a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to order the Southern California Gas Company to pay for professional cleaning. Through the order, the gas company was required to offer the service to all Porter House residents. According to Southern California Public Radio, 1,700 affected homes are being cleaned.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health specified a detailed protocol for removing contaminants from the area’s homes. The gas company hired 110 crews to handle the task.
Issues during the clean-up
In May of 2016, the Porter Ranch gas leak clean-up was abruptly halted. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that the county’s Department of Public Health found that the crews hired by the gas company were not properly trained or equipped for the clean-up. Consequently, the department issued a stop work order that was kept in place until an alternative work plan was developed. Ultimately, the clean-up resumed with increased supervision and multiple quality assurance layers.
Recently, Southern California Public Radio reported that clean-up crews are conducting some additional cleaning at a small number of homes where follow ups were requested. Other homes in the area, however, have been cleared and are ready for people to move back in. A report from the Southern California Gas Company indicates that air screenings performed in over 70 homes found the air was clear and free of gas odors. The hope is that the cleaning will help prevent the return of the symptoms and potential long-term effects resulting from this dangerous exposure as people move back into their homes.
Consulting with an attorney
Due to methane exposure resulting from a gas leak, such as was experienced in Porter Ranch, California, residents may suffer short-term and long-term health implications. Sometimes, these effects require medical treatment, which may lead to undue medical costs and lost wages.
In addition to physical injury, other losses suffered by the Porter Ranch leak victims may include emotional distress, relocation costs, property damage, diminution or reduction in the value of homes and other real estate, mental suffering from fear of another leak and other potential damages.
In some circumstances, the gas company or another party may be held responsible for the damages caused by the leak. Therefore, people who have become ill or experienced other kinds of harm as a result of gas exposure may benefit from seeking legal guidance. An attorney can explain their options for pursuing financial justice.