Porter Ranch Gas Leak Lawsuit
Porter Ranch Gas Leak
The Porter Ranch gas leak is being labeled the nation’s biggest environmental disaster since the BP oil spill.
Between October 23, 2015 and January 5, 2016 78,185.44 metric tons of methane have escaped from Aliso Canyon.
The natural-gas leak erupted at a storage well maintained by Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) is polluting the surrouding area.
Emergency crews estimate that it will take until at least late February or March to plug the leak at the Aliso Canyon Underground Storage Facility.
The gas leak was discovered on October 23, 2015 and has since sickened thousands of people in Porter Ranch and closed schools.
Thousands of residents in Porter Ranch have been evacuated and forced into temporary housing, after exposure to the gas for two months.
SoCalGas needs the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve a rate increase on customers to cover funds necessary for maintenance.
On January 6,2016 Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Porter Ranch.
The state of emergency mean that, “all state agencies will utilize state personnel, equipment and facilities to ensure a continuous and thorough state response to the incident.”
Governor Brown’s address outlined the following action items:
- Stopping the leak – all necessary and viable action will be taken
- Protecting public health and safety – SoCalGas is prohibited from injecting has into the Aliso Canyon storage facility
- Ensuring accountability- The California PUC will make sure that SoCalGas coveres costs related to the Porter Ranch gas leak
- Strengthening oversight – new regulations will be put in place for gas storage facilities across the state
Porter Ranch Gas Leak Questions
Could the Porter Ranch natural-gas leak have been prevented?
The gas well was missing a safety valve that was removed over 35 years ago. had the valve been in place it could have shutdown the well and the environmental disaster may have been avoided.
SoCalGas who maintains the well, may have know about the potential risk and filed a request for more funds to the PUC in November of 2014.
In their filing they mention a need for the additional funds in order to conduct inspections and repairs. The filing states that “SoCalGas and customers could experience major failures and service interruption from potential hazards that currently remain undetected.”
As of July 2014 half of SoCalGas’ sotrage wells are over 57 years old. They begin to deteriorate after 40 years.
Why will it take so long to fix?
Engineers speculate that the leak is coming from a hole 500 feel below the surface.
What are the health effects?
Side effects include headaches, nausea and nosebleeds. More severe symptoms include bleeding from the eyes and gums.
It’s recommended that those affected keep note of what they smell, how they feel — include all the symptoms and keep medical bills.
This is the first incident of its kind so there is no telling what the long-term health effects will be.
Porter Ranch Gas Leak Lawsuit
An environmental class action lawsuit has been filed against SoCalGas. The lawsuit alleges that SoCalGas and state officials were negligent in allowing the leak to occur.
Residents have suffered physically and financially as a result of their exposure to hazardous gases, chemicals, pollutants and contaminants released by SoCalGas.
The Los Angeles Department of Health Has ordered SoCalGas to pay for residents to temporarily relocate. The lawsuit is asking for monetary damages.
Residents fear the lasting effects of the Porter Ranch gas leak. They worry about declining property values and want any fines assessed against the gas company reinvested in Porter Ranch’s residential and commercial areas.
Financial damages include:
- Property or business value loss
- Losses as a result of relocation
- Lost profits or decreases in business
- Costs associated with relocating or closing a business
Physical injuries include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle spasm
- Chest pain
- Chronic headaches
- Loss of motor skills
Porter Ranch Gas Leak Lawyer
If you think you may have been exposed to an environmental hazard, like the Porter Ranch gas leak, you should speak with a lawyer right away.
Hold irresponsible companies accountable. Take action against unsafe products and unfair business practices.
If you or a loved one is a Porter Ranch business owner or resident, you could receive compensation for your injuries or hardship.
Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 24/7 to be connected with an experienced lawyer for a free consultation.