Sunday marks the 100th day of the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, an environmental disaster many experts have compared to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The consequences for climate change are dire. The ruptured well is emitting tens of thousands of pounds of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, every day. That’s equivalent to the emissions from 7 million cars, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
The impact to the Southern California Gas Company facility’s immediate neighbors in the affluent bedroom community of Porter Ranch has been catastrophic. Thousands of residents suffering from short-term symptoms associated with the leak have been relocated to hotels and rental homes, their children transferred to new schools. The property value of their homes has fallen, and some residents have seen their pets succumb to mysterious illnesses. Nobody is certain of the long-term health effects.
Meanwhile, the plume from the leak continues to expand, reaching as far as Orange County, according to Walker Foley, a Southern California organizer for the nonprofit organization Food & Water Watch.