At the request of county Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Southern California Gas Co. crews will conduct indoor air-quality screening at select homes near the site of the now-capped Porter Ranch gas leak to test for the presence of methane or mercaptan.
“It is critical that residents have proper air quality sampling to determine whether their houses are safe,” Antonovich said. “The county Department of Public Health will oversee the independent contractor to ensure that this sampling takes place and is conducted properly.”
SoCalGas officials said they company will do testing at “a sampling of households near the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.”
“We recognize that some residents, particularly those who have decided to remain in temporary housing, have questions about the air in their homes,” said Gillian Wright, SoCalGas vice president of customer services. “We strongly believe that our customers are neighbors in Porter Ranch deserve peace of mind in knowing the air is normal and we are taking action to enable a smooth transition back to their homes and neighborhoods.”
The company plans to test 75 randomly selected homes. Methane is the best indicator of whether natural gas is present, while mercaptan is the odorant added to natural gas as a safety measure, according to the Gas Co.
The Aliso Canyon gas leak was first detected Oct. 23. It was unofficially capped on Feb. 11 and formally declared sealed on Feb. 18. Thousands of Porter Ranch-area residents moved to temporary housing out of the area — at Gas Co. expense — during the leak. Those residents have until March 18 to return to their homes. The Gas Co. will stop paying for the temporary housing on that date.
—City News Service