Toxic Fumes


On October 23, 2015, the second largest gas facility of its kind, owned by Southern California Gas Company, began to leak natural gases uncontrollably. These gases have been affecting the nearby neighborhood of Porter Ranch, a city with with a population of 24,923. This recent gas leak has had multiple life-threatening effects on the residents in this area, resulting in a mandatory evacuation.
The owners of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility claimed the leak was discovered, “during one of its twice-daily well observations.” While toxic fumes were being spewed into the air uncontrollably, the company did not legally have to admit to the leak until October 28th.
The original hypothesis was that the leak was only 500 feet below the surface but it has turned out to be much worse. The source of the leak was discovered to be a metal pipe only seven inches wide, lying 8,750 feet below the surface.
The worst part about the leak is that the Southern California Gas Company has yet to out a way to stop the natural gases from flowing. In 1953, the now broken pipe used to have a safety valve; this was removed 26 years later because the pipe was not considered “critical, that is, one within 100 feet of a road or a park, or within 300 feet of a home.” This valve was merely removed and was never replaced.
The gas, which has been leaking for over three months now, has been seriously affecting the nearby residents in Porter Ranch. Residents have suffered from nausea, headaches and nosebleeds and now pets are also becoming ill. The natural gas leak may cause some very dangerous long-term health issues for these Californians, but no associations have been found yet.
The leak has already called for 3,083 households to be relocated with no signs of stopping in the near future. Many residents fear the possible long-term health effects of the gas for themselves and their children, but many have stayed in the area regardless of the leak.
While a solution has not yet formed to stop this terrible leak, the Southern California Gas Company is confident they will find a solution soon.
Document 5: “Now, then, in order to understand white supremacy we must dismiss the fallacious notion that white people can give anybody their freedom. No man can give anybody his freedom. A man is born free. You may enslave a man after he is born free, and that is in fact what this country does. It enslaves black people after they’re born, so that the only acts that white people can do is to stop denying black people their freedom; that is, they must stop denying freedom. They never give it to anyone.”