A state of emergency was declared Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Advisors in regards to the gas leak in Porter Ranch.
The county declaration, proposed by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, will open the door to further state and federal assistance, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News. The proposal was unanimously approved.
This news follows a temporary flight restriction that the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Dec, 11, restricting all aircraft from flying below 2,000 feet within areas above the leak.
The gas leak was detected by Southern California Gas Co. on Oct. 23 seeping from a pipe roughly 8,000 feet underground at its Aliso Canyon storage facility. For nearly two months the leak has been rising to the surface, resulting in a bad odor and growing health concerns from San Fernando Valley residents. Hundreds have relocated elsewhere and many residents continue to complain of headaches, nausea and nosebleeds.
In response to the leak, the company said it is taking the necessary precautions to plug the leak and alleviate the negative effects.
The utility company is drilling a relief well intended to connect to the leaking well to plug the hole. So far the company has drilled roughly 1,000 feet below ground and is working round-the-clock to reach the leaking well, it reported on its website. The company estimates the leak could take roughly three to four months to fix, though a definitive timeline has not been set.
SoCal Gas Co. will also open a community center at 12801 Tampa Ave. on Dec. 18 to provide further information and support to the local community and residents looking to relocate and file claims.