SoCalGas stops leaking natural gas well near Porter Ranch

Gas leak forces kids to leave home, school
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Gas leak forces kids to leave home, school 02:07

Story highlights

  • Relief well intercepts leaking well, prevents gas from flowing out
  • Next step is closing off the leaking well with cement, verifying seal is holding
  • Thousands of relocated residents will wait for word it is safe to come home

(CNN)Infrared video taken Friday confirmed that a Southern California gas company has stopped the flow of natural gas leaking from a well at a facility near Los Angeles.

On Thursday the Southern California Gas Company announced that a relief well had "intercepted the base of the leaking well" and operators were pumping fluids to temporarily keep the gas from leaking.
Video recorded Friday showed the leak and emissions in the Porter Ranch area had indeed halted.
    "We will continue to work around-the-clock to seal the well with cement," the company said, adding the process will take several days.
    SoCalGas reported the leak from its Aliso Canyon storage well on October 23. In January, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the area.
    Since the leak was discovered, the California Air Resources Board sent up planes multiple times to measure the amount of natural gas gushing out.
    The board measured 97,000 pounds per hour of methane in early November. By late December, about 66,000 pounds per hour were still spewing out.
    In December, activists from the Environmental Defense Fund were using thermal photography and video to make the gas plume visible.
    Residents of more than 2,200 homes have temporarily relocated.
    The gas company, which has been paying for hotels for some, said those residents will have eight days to return home once authorities rule the area safe. People in apartments and rental homes can finish out their leases, if they choose.
    Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, said residents should be able to have confidence in the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the agency doing the safety testing. But she said its reputation isn't good enough. She called for an independent group or federal agency to also test the air in each home and neighborhood.