Gov. Brown Declares State of Emergency at Porter Ranch Amid Massive Gas Leak

SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Porter Ranch, where thousands of residents have been evacuated due to a massive gas leak.

In declaring the emergency, Brown noted the widespread disruption the gas leak has caused and reiterated the state’s efforts to help fix the problem.

Dennis Arriola, president and CEO, SoCalGas has been communicating with the Governor’s Office and other state agencies from the outset. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, he said, “we appreciate their continued support as we work as quickly and safely as possible to stop the leak. Our focus remains on quickly and safely stopping the leak and minimizing the impact to our neighbors in Porter Ranch.”

Arriola added: “SoCalGas reaffirms our prior commitment to mitigate the environmental impact of the actual amount of natural gas released from the leak.  We look forward to working with state officials to develop a framework that will achieve this goal. As we have since this incident began, SoCalGas stands willing and ready to cooperate with the Governor’s office, all state and local officials, and regulatory agencies.”

The state will continue its prohibition against Southern California Gas Co. injecting any gas into the Aliso Canyon storage facility until a comprehensive review of the safety of the storage wells and the air quality of the surrounding community utilizing independent experts is completed; expand its real-time monitoring of emissions in the community; convene an independent panel of scientific and medical experts to review public health concerns; and take all actions necessary to ensure the continued reliability of natural gas and electricity supplies in the coming months.

Porter Ranch residents say fumes from the leak, which began Oct. 23, have left them with headaches, bloody noses and nausea. Thousands have been relocated to temporary housing by Southern California Gas Co. under orders from the county Department of Public Health.

County health officials say the symptoms residents are experiencing are a reaction to additives that give the gas its sulfur-like odor. They do not expect long-term health problems.