Kyle Richardson |staff writer|
Finally, after 4 months, the methane gas leak at Aliso Canyon has been plugged by work crews.
Estimated numbers showed that since the start of the leak up to January, the leak had spewed more greenhouse gases than 440,000 cars emit in a year, according to the LA Times.
The gas leak that many did not know about, has been releasing methane gas into our atmosphere since Nov. 26.
“The well is no longer leaking,” said Jimmie Cho, senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity for Southern California Gas Co., to the LA Times.
Southern California’s Gas Co. Aliso Canyon gas storage at Porter Ranch provides gas to homes and companies all across Southern California; approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.
After the leak was plugged, it was filled with a mud-like compound.
Concrete will soon be pumped into it for the final step to fully seal off the well, according to the LA Times.
The suspected leak was said to be at around 1000 feet deep in the well, though the workers had to drill 8,500 feet at the very bottom of the well to plug the leak, according to the LA Times.
Southern California Gas Co. will work with the regulating agency, the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to confirm that the well leak is permanently stopped, according to PR Newswire.
As the leak has been plugged, there is still no answer for how the leak initially started.
The final amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere is still unclear.
In the beginning, 58,000 kilograms of methane gas leaked per hour on Nov. 28, two days after the gas leak was first noticed.
That number was reduced to 18,400 kilograms per hour on Jan. 22, according to the LA Times.
Families evacuated from Porter Ranch have also been able to return home.
The total number of households relocated due to the Aliso Canyon gas leak was 4,645, and a little over 1700 of those households have returned home, according to PR NewsWire.
As the methane gas was released into the air, schools within 5 miles of Aliso Canyon were all given air filters for each classroom and office, according to the LA Times.
The same action has been taken upon Southern California Gas Co., as they have been delivering air filters to all the homes that families have returned too.
President of Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council Paula Cracium spoke for the residents on their return home.
“It changes from controlling the crisis to now navigating recovery,” said Cracium to the LA Times.
“Homeowners have been injured. Property values have been injured. There’s going to be a version of PTSD as they get a whiff of any odor in their home,” added Cracium.
The company Sempra Energy, who owns Southern California Gas Co., is expected to pay costs of $250 million to $300 million, though that number could possibly climb higher with the sealing of the well, according to The Weather Channel.
That number does not include the lawsuits filed against the gas company, where as many of 65 lawsuits have been filed so far.