3-month-old methane leak in Southern California declared state of emergency

BY    | Updated: Jan 7, 2016 at 10:25 AM
A neighborhood where many people have left their homes because of a massive natural-gas leak is seen in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of the of the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, on December 22, 2015. More than 1,600 residents have been displaced. Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

A neighborhood where many people have left their homes because of a massive natural-gas leak is seen in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of the of the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, on December 22, 2015. More than 1,600 residents have been displaced. Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Images

California has declared a state of emergency over a methane leak in Los Angeles that has been spewing huge amounts of hazardous gas for months.

California Gov. Jerry Brown made the decision following requests from the citizens of Porter Ranch, according to the Associated Press. This community in northwest San Fernando Valley runs adjacent to Aliso Canyon, where the Southern California Gas Company keeps an underground storage facility for natural gas. On Oct. 23, the company discovered a leak in a pipe a few hundred feet underground, according to the Los Angeles Times. Since then, close to 80,000 metric tons of methane has seeped into the air. That’s akin to burning 745 million gallons of gasoline, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

According to their latest timetable, Southern California Gas Company aims to seal the leak by late February or late March.

READ MORE: Why is there a huge methane hotspot in the American Southwest?

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