The Doctors: Natural Gas Leak In Porter Ranch
In one Southern California town, a large number of residents are angry about a large gas leak. Residents have asked for SoCal gas and the mayor to shut down the natural gas facility. The California neighborhood of Porter Ranch experienced what is now one of the “largest environmental calamities” ever recorded in the state. Residents have evacuated and schools had to relocate.
The Doctors welcomed Erin Brockovich, a consumer advocate, who said people still aren’t getting their questions answered. She called what was happening an “assault” saying that what’s happening to people’s health is incredibly concerning. People who have evacuated have come home to find their animals dead.
At Porter Ranch, more than half of the wells are over 70 years old. The problem comes from a “critical well” that first became an obvious problem five years ago. The safety valve that would’ve prevented the problem was removed and never replaced. That’s why they can’t just shut it down. Those kinds of pipelines are all over the country. The breach is 1.5 miles down, so they have to be careful with how they address it. There’s 5.5 billion cubic feet of gas under there, under pressure. Erin is shocked that communities are built on top of wells like that with no emergency plan in place.
The Doctors: Health Crisis In Porter Ranch, California
The Doctors then spoke to Dr Bardia Anvar, who said they’re experiencing problems that they wouldn’t have normally seen. People are losing their hair, breaking out in rashes, experiencing headaches and migraines, as well as irritated mucous membranes and respiratory problems. Some have even developed chronic asthma, even after evacuating the area.
Public health officials are saying that the odor is “sickening but unlikely to cause long-term effects.” The truth is that they just don’t know that. Erin’s team is still waiting on the results of her testing, and she’s already experienced health issues just from her four visits to the area. The soonest they could shut down the problem is the end of March. There could still be soil vapors even after it’s shut off. They have a reported 187 million pounds of methane already being released into the air. It’s now reaching other areas beyond Porter Ranch.
Erin is fighting to get people the help they need, as well as to ensure that the problem doesn’t happen again. SoCal gas refused to provide further comment.