Worst gas leak in U.S. history is uncontrolled in So. California; a public health crisis

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If you go by the Establishment Media, you wouldn’t know there’s a MONUMENTAL environmental and public health disaster in southern California, which is worse than the 2010 BP Gulf Oil spill.
For more than 3 months, since October 23, 2015, methane gas has been leaking, uncontrolled, from a natural gas well connected to the huge Aliso Canyon underground storage facility near Porter Ranch, Los Angeles — the second largest natural gas storage facility in the United States which supplies processed natural gas to upwards of 20,000,000 people throughout the greater Los Angeles area. 
The facility belongs to the Southern California Gas Company, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy.
The leak is so bad that on January 6, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency. 
Erin Brockovich calls the Aliso Canyon gas leak “the equivalent of the BP oil spill on land, in a populated community“. Unlike the BP oil leak from an undersea well 5,000 feet below the surface and 60 miles out at sea, the Aliso Canyon gas leak is in a high-density residential area of Los Angeles County, with the city of Los Angeles a stone’s throw away.
Aliso Canyon gas leak map
The general area affected by the Aliso Canyon gas leak has a population of 30,000 people. Already, some  2,500 households have been relocated from Porter Ranch; another 6,500 plus families are in the process of being relocated. When is the last time that 10,000 households were relocated for any type of manmade disaster?  That’s how bad this gas leak is.
Methane is the most powerful greenhouse gas (GHG). The Aliso Canyon leak is coming from a broken pipe in an old gas well, SS 25, which is over 8500 feet deep. When well SS 25 was drilled in 1953, it was provided with a safety valve. In 1979, the safety valve was removed because it was old and leaking, but a new replacement valve was never installed because the well was not considered “critical” in that it wasn’t “within 100 feet of a road or a park, or within 300 feet of a home”.
What makes this ongoing and uncontrolled leak so dangerous is the fact that the broken pipe is directly connected to the second largest gas storage facility in the United States, a facility that can hold 86 billion cubic feet of natural gas. 

Public Health crisis 

The medical ailments and various health conditions associated with over-exposure to natural gas have already affected many residents in Porter Ranch.
The Alison Canyon gas leak is comprised of methane gas, mercaptan, benzene, toluene and other alkanes in lesser amounts. The health risks of mercaptan and methane are the most serious.
1. Mercaptan
Also called methanethiol, mercaptan is an organosulfur addictive added to natural gas so that leaks can be quickly identified because of sulfur’s foul-smelling rotten-egg odor. Mercaptan is the cause of most of the Alison Canyon gas leak medical ailments thus far which have required some form of medical intervention, including the closure of three schools. Mercaptan, at very high concentrations, is highly toxic and affects the central nervous system. Symptoms include fever, cough, dyspnea, tightness and burning in the chest, dizziness, headache, loss of sense of smell, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Even lower but sustained levels of mercaptan can cause depression, respiratory irritation, respiratory paralysis, pulmonary edema, tremors and seizures, liver and kidney damage, tachycardia and hypertension.
2. Methane
Methane gas in high concentrations and/or prolonged exposure can pose serious health risks because methane depletes oxygen from our bodies, triggering breathing difficulties and eventually resulting in suffocation. Symptoms of methane poisoning include nausea, vomiting, headaches, heart palpitations, cognitive problems (from lack of oxygen in one’s brain), and collapse.
3. Radiation
According to a February 3, 2016 report by radio station 95.1-FM in New York city, efforts by Southern California Gas to seal the leak thus far has failed. Even worse, those efforts have destabilized the well, causing other leaks in other areas of the gas field. Late last week, officials described the leak as “totally out of control”.
The volume of gas is coming out so forcefully, it has been described as “like a volcano,” the plume of gas stretching literally for miles above heavily populated areas of Los Angeles. Below is an infra-red image of the otherwise invisible gas plume.
Aliso Canyon gas leak
Even more alarming, according to experts from the International Association for Protection from Ionizing Rays (AIPRI) in France, the Aliso Canyon gas leak is also spewing lethal levels — about 45.95 curies a day — of naturally-occurring uranium, radon and other radioactive materials into the air around Los Angeles.
The curie (symbol Ci) is a non-metric unit of radioactivity that’s widely used in the United States to describe very large radioactive releases. To illustrate, the French becquerel (Bq) is a much more human-sized unit of measure for radiation, which means one radioactive count per second. The curie is such a large radioactive release that one curie equals 37 billion becquerels.
The Aliso Canyon gas leak is spewing 45.95 curies or 1.7 trillion becquerels of radioactivity a day — a Fukushima-class disaster.
Reportedly, many residents of Chatsworth, Northridge and Granada Hills have been complaining of nosebleeds, vomiting and diarrhea which they attribute to methane or the mercaptan addictive. But the symptoms of nosebleeds, vomiting and diarrhea are ALSO signs of radiation sickness.
From SuperStation91:

Don’t believe us?  Buy your own little Geiger Counter and take some readings yourself.  Folks in the area where this gas is blowing will see radiation counts exceeding 2,000 counts-per-minute.  In some cases, exceeding that by many times.  Then ask the California Highway Patrol what their criteria is for a “Radiation Emergency”?  They’ll tell you “Any reading of 500 Counts-Per-Minute CPM or higher is considered a radiation emergency.”  It’s been their protocol for years.  Same thing with the LA Fire Department.  Ask them.  They’ll tell you.


Natural gas can explode if exposed to an ignition source like a pilot light on a stove or in a hot water heater.
We’ve all seen news of gas explosions in homes or buildings, and their devastating aftermath. Imagine what Chatsworth, Northridge and Granada Hills will look like if the miles-high Aliso Canyon gas plume floating above those homes ignites. Entire communities would be flattened.  The deaths and injuries from such an event would be mind-boggling, yet people are not being told how dangerous this leak is and, despite calls by doctors a month ago to evacuate, many are remaining in the area.

That’s because local-state governments and the media are not communicating the gravity of the gas leak.

There is much speculation throughout the LA area that the catastrophe was deliberately hushed up because of the sheer enormity and severity of the problem.
That it took almost two and a half months for Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare the leak to be an emergency may have something to do with Brown’s sister being on the board of Sempra Energy, the parent company of SoCalGas.
SoCalGas has known about this well gone bad for many years and deliberately chose to take the path of least resistance at every juncture. Given its prior knowledge of faulty and inadequate equipment at the site, SoCalGas faces legal and financial liability that far exceeds anything ever experienced by an American utility.
Why the authorities have not fully disclosed to the people in Los Angeles the enormity of the Aliso Canyon catastrophe may be because they don’t want a panic on their hands, or have businesses and industries shut down, resulting in the loss of jobs and billions in tax revenues.
In the meantime, the gas leak continues . . . .
Sources: GreenMediaInfo; SuperStation95; SHTFplan.com
H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV, josephbc69, and TNrick

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0 responses to “Worst gas leak in U.S. history is uncontrolled in So. California; a public health crisis

  1. Thank You Dr. Eowyn for this well researched and informative post. I think you hit the nail on the head for reasons why the government and media have been silent on this massive man-made disaster.

  2. Pingback: Worst gas leak in U.S. history is uncontrolled in So. California; a public health crisis | Patriots Feed

  3. Rome is burning . . . but the fiddlers just keep fiddling. This is truly an atrocity. I love the way the gas company says–putting on a new safety valve at the time the old one was found to be rusty and disintegrating . . . and now that it is to late to use that remedy –everyone stands around wringing their hands. Can you say . . . “lawsuit that breaks the bank.???”

  4. Reblogged this on rjh photography and commented:
    This is a tragic and inexcusable event by any standards which should be addressed urgently and by whatever means necessary to shut this well down permanently. Just my own opinion…

  5. What should expect from the carbon fulled Conglomerates controlling the economic-political dispositions of Nations?
    The Conglomerate controlled mass media kept the poisoned water of Flint, Michigan out of the Public View until the power of Truth and Reality and the Internet, forced them to inform the Public.
    My frequent prayer is ‘LORD, fulfill the Prophecy, ” But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
    No man, when he has lighted a candle, covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed; but sets it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
    For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
    Take heed therefore how you hear: for whosoever has, to him shall be given; and whosoever has not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemed to have.
    Luke 8:15-18; Matthew 10:26; Mark 4:22; Luke 12:2-3

  6. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this report. The map shows the Aliso Canyon Wilderness Park in Orange County while the Aliso Canyon gas field is located north west of the Los Angeles sign on the map.
    This is the silent disaster we are to believe will go away on its own. It will not. I live in the area and am now under doctor’s care for the damage the gas leak has done.
    Around 115 gas wells sit on 3000 acres in the Porter Ranch hills located in unincorporated Los Angeles County. This area forms the immediate backyard of Porter Ranch which is part of the City of Los Angeles. The wells are old oil wells from the thirties that eventually went dry and were bought by the utility company for gas storage. Natural gas is trucked in from all over the country and stored here. Up until the seventies Porter Ranch was a working ranch.
    This area in the northwest corner of Los Angeles were a last respite from the big city and is very picturesque. In the seventies developers started building homes with beautiful views and they are still building. Never was the ticking time bomb in the hills framing the new community disclosed to home buyers. We knew that SoCal Gas Company had a facility there, but no one knew the extent of it. No doubt developers greased politicians and others sufficiently to get the right approvals for homes so close to this massive gas storage field.
    Well, the party is over for SoCal Gas Company, the politicians and the residents. You can’t even give a home away in Porter Ranch now and the two elementary schools sit empty. One is brand new. Most important is the health of everyone, including that of pets and wildlife as well. Only time will tell of long term consequences while Porter Ranch never again will be spoken of as a beautiful and safe place to raise children. Anyone remember Love Canal?
    Those Porter Ranch hills look so innocent, but they are ticking time bombs:

    • Thank you, Anne, for alerting me to the erroneous map that I’d found on Daily Mail. I’ve replaced it with the correct map, which shows the leak in a densely-populated area and close to the city of Los Angeles. God help us.

    • Anne,
      the clouds in your pic appear foreboding to me

  7. this is terrible! and it’s being hidden?

    • Perhaps “not fully disclosed” and “under-reported” are better words. One would think that an environmental and potential human disaster of this magnitude would be on the evening news of the major TV networks and the front pages of major newspapers.

  8. Thank you for making us aware of this issue, Dr. Eowyn.

  9. Every utility should have all its records searched, including security, parts purchases, repairs—everything. We need to know if this was mere stupidity or planned.
    California has proved, under Gov. Moonbeam, that it is not capable of self-government, and it should be taken over. Problem is, the Federal Government is not capable of self-government, either.
    I just have a weird feeling that this catastrophe in the making is no mere accident or mere act of incompetent stupidity. (Neither was Fukushima).

    • The gas wells are deep inside the hills, as far down as over 8000 feet. The pipes down there are getting old and crumbling. In 1979 a safety valve was removed from this particular well and never replaced!
      As for the strange hush over this disaster, we have to look at the names behind. Governor Brown, also known as Governor Moonbeam, has a well known sister who sits on the Sempra Energy board. Sempra Energy is the parent company of Southern California Gas Company that owns the gas storage field. Kathleen Brown collects an annual fee of $ 180,000 for this cushy board position. She also has investments of close to half a million dollars in this enterprise.
      Porter Ranch is not unfamiliar with disasters. The 1994 Northridge earthquake hit Porter Ranch hard as well. You’ve all heard that tptb never let a crisis go to waste – whether the crisis is engineered or otherwise. I believe we are looking at such a situation here.

  10. Reblogged this on necltr and commented:
    Put our tax money to work! It is to be used for the purposes assigned!

  11. I wonder if another reason for the lack of urgency and detail from moonbeam et al is because of the superbowl this year being held at levi’s stadium in santa clara, ca (5 hours away) with tickets going for over $5000 each, plus ads and other revenue. How many folks would want to show up for the game if they knew the worst environmental disaster in our history was 5 hours south from the event?

    • MomOfIV . . . I think you have struck on a very plausible notion. How many people would intentionally come into an area that may have the potential to “blow the mountain” at any time . . . you know the game must go on, since so much money is riding on it! The whole thing is shameful.

  12. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this extremely important post. I also thank you so much for the meticulous and difficult research you performed in order to provide substantial evidence of this immense crisis in California. This is a matter that should be addressed with immediate priority and disclosed to our nation with the appropriate significance due, so that it can receive the proper and necessary treatment that it needs. We must begin to pray for the people in California. This is absolutely horrific.

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  14. Pingback: Why doesn’t California Close down the Renegade Methane Industry? | Eslkevin's Blog

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