Natural gas leak so bad VDT notices it

Sempra Energy’s California leak stinks so bad the VDT smelled it from 3,000 miles away. But GA Gov. Nathan Deal still can’t smell Sabal Trail over campaign contributions from Sempra and from Spectra Energy.

Brian Melley, AP, 25 November 2015, Utility plans to mask awful odor from uncontrolled gas leak,

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A utility trying to stop a monthlong leak at a massive natural gas storage facility near a Los Angeles neighborhood said it planned to use a mist to mask the sickening stench as work continues — possibly for three more months — to plug the well.

Even the 9-inch pipeline to Berrien County took probably half an hour for SONAT to get around to turning off.

SoCalGas officials told county supervisors Tuesday that the substance is safe and would neutralize the rotten-egg smell that has led to more than 660 complaints by residents to the air board about nausea, headaches and dizziness.

Porter Ranch residents attended the supervisors meeting to criticize the company’s delay in owning up to the leak that began Oct. 23 and said they are wary of claims the deodorizing mist is harmless and fear it could cause unknown chemical reactions.

“We’re not your guinea pigs,” said Matt Pakucko, president of a group called Save Porter Ranch.

Well, yes they are. But these guinea pigs have hired attorneys. McCuneWright, LLP,, 24 November 2015, Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Southern California Gas Company on Behalf of Porter Ranch Homeowners Affected by the Gas Leak,

REDLANDS, Calif., Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — McCuneWright, LLP, a Southern California complex litigation law firm, and The Kick Law Firm, APC, a Los Angeles based class action law firm, filed a class action suit today in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of William Gandsey, and all other residents of Porter Ranch, against Southern California Gas Company and its parent company Sempra Energy, resulting from the ongoing and uncontrolled natural gas leak at Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility located immediately adjacent to the Porter Ranch community. There are an estimated 30,000 residents of Porter Ranch.

The natural gas leak was first reported to governmental regulatory authorities on October 23, 2015. To date, all efforts to correct the natural gas leak have failed and the leak continues unabated. Southern California Gas has stated that it may take months before the leak can be sealed. Since at least October 23, 2015, Plaintiff and the Porter Ranch community have been, and continue to be, physically invaded by gases, chemicals, noxious odors, pollutants, and contaminants emanating from the natural gas leak at Defendants’ Aliso Canyon facility, located at 12801 Tampa Avenue, Los Angeles, California. Since the start of the natural gas leak, the Southern California Air Quality Management District has logged 499 complaints from residents in the area surrounding the Aliso Canyon facility. Complaints have included reports of negative health impacts, such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, shortness of breath, nose bleeds, and headaches.

While the lawsuit will be seeking damages for those losses, according to Taras Kick of The Kick Law Firm, “the most important thing right now for the homeowners is to know the health implications of their exposure to these chemicals.” Richard McCune of McCuneWright, LLP, states that “The homeowners have received conflicting information that the exposure is not a health concern, while at the same time the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has recommended that the Southern California Gas Company provide free, temporary relocation to some residents. In light of the mixed messages, and the known dangers of some of the chemicals that reportedly are being released, there needs to be a comprehensive release of information to the Porter Ranch homeowners so that they can make independent decisions regarding their health.”

Apparently it reallys stinks. 89.3KPCC, 25 November 2015, Porter Ranch gas leak rotten-egg smell could cost SoCal Gas,

Porter Ranch residents have made nearly 700 complaints to the South Coast Air Quality Management District over the rotten-egg smell coming from the ruptured well in nearby Aliso Canyon.

On Monday, AQMD issued a notice of violation for the nuisance smells. It covers complaints filed with the agency going back to Oct. 24, a day after the leak was first detected.


SoCal Gas executive Gillian Wright told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday during a hearing about the leak that 259 households have requested relocation and 67 of those have already been placed. The utility company has hired four housing companies to help complete relocations within 24 hours of a request.

SoCal Gas isn’t relocating out of the goodness of their fossil fuel hearts. Sara Favot, Los Angeles Daily News, 23 November 2015, About 30 Porter Ranch families have been relocated due to gas leak,

Last week county public health officials ordered the gas company to provide free temporary relocation assistance to any affected residents.

Back to the VDT AP story:

So far, the leak has stumped the gas company, a division of Sempra Energy, which has tried unsuccessfully to pour liquid into a leaking well that goes a mile and a half underground.

Sempra Energy donated $2,000 to the 2014 campaign of Nathan Deal for Governor and $1,000 to the campaign of Lauren W. McDonald Jr. for Public Service Commission, according to Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

Of course, that’s not much compared to the $3,700 + $6,300 donated in 2014 to Nathan Deal for Governor, Inc. by Spectra Energy PAC. The same Spectra of Sabal Trail. Whose PAC also donated to a variety of other Georgia candidates, including Don Parsons

And many more pipeline and fossil fuel companies contributed to the campaigns of Nathan Deal and others.

Should we wait until something like this happens here?

Sarah Favot, Los Angeles Daily News, 24 November 2015, LA County supervisors ask governor to intercede in Porter Ranch gas leak,

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday asked the governor to intercede in a dispute over a monthlong gas leak above Porter Ranch that has caused 78 families to leave their homes.

“Thirty-one days is too long,” said Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who had asked Southern California Gas Co. officials to appear before the board and called the delays “nonsensical and irresponsible.”

And doesn’t this give you confidence in the fossil fuel industry?

The gas company does not know what caused the leak but will conduct an investigation into the cause after the leak is stopped.

Georgians for months have been asking Gov. Nathan Deal to intercede against Sabal Trail, with no response. You can still call his office,

(404) 656-1776

Maybe you’d like to ask him about those campaign contributions, too.

And you can also petition the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: they can stop Sabal Trail, even if our elected officials won’t.