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Porter Ranch-Area Residents Call for Safety Measures Including Cameras, Tests

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The entrance to Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon storage facility. Crews on stopped the flow of methane at the site on Feb. 11, 2016. (Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

As crews wait for a cement plug to dry and permanently seal the leaking gas well that sickened and displaced thousands in Porter Ranch, residents are renewing their call for a list of safety measures to prevent a repeat of the long, slow environmental disaster.

Before they move back, some residents want independent experts to conduct a random sample of the air quality inside abandoned homes to make sure harmful chemicals haven’t settled in carpets, furniture and other soft material, said Paula Cracium, president of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council.

Residents also want Southern California Gas Co. to replace the aging wells at the Aliso Canyon storage site and set up publicly accessible video feeds from infrared cameras that would show if a well is leaking, Cracium said.

Though gas leaks are invisible to the naked eye, state air-quality regulators released dramatic infrared video from Thursday that showed the flow of gas stopping after crews, who had spent months digging a relief well, were finally able to inject a mixture of heavy fluid and mud that temporarily blocked the leak.

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