20 December 2015 (EDF) – Aerial footage filmed 17 December 2015, shows potent, climate-damaging methane gases escaping from a massive natural gas leak at a storage facility in California’s Aliso Canyon, with the San Fernando valley pictured in the background. The giant methane plumes were made visible by a specialized infrared camera operated by an Earthworks ITC-certified thermographer. Learn more about the leak: https://edf.org/shu/

First aerial footage of Aliso Canyon natural gas leak

FAA warns planes away from plume of massive natural gas leak in Porter Ranch, California, 14 December 2015, 9:46 PM ET. Photo: MSNBC

By Andrew Freedman
24 December 2015

(Mashable) – The Aliso Canyon leak demonstrates a potential blind spot in the nascent regulatory system for overseeing the country's growing natural gas infrastructure. Companies are being pushed to contain leaks in their natural gas pipelines and at facilities that burn natural gas, but underground storage areas, of which there are more than 300 nationwide, aren't subjected to specific standards that might have prevented this leak.

A massive natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon, California, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles, has been spewing about 62 million standard cubic feet of methane per day into the air since a well casing mysteriously suffered damage on Oct. 23 of this year.

The leak is unlikely to be squelched for another three to four months, according to SoCalGas, as crews have to drill about 8,500 feet underground to intersect with the base of the leaking pipe.

Already, more than 1,000 people in Porter Ranch and Northridge, California have temporarily relocated due to health complaints related to the fumes from the leak. In addition, the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Education decided on Dec. 17 to temporarily relocate two schools for the rest of the 2015-16 school year. […]

The climate implications of this particular leak are significant, especially since the leak is in California, which has some of the most stringent greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans in the world.

The main component of natural gas is methane, which can have up to 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide for the first 20 years after it is released, before it begins to be removed from the atmosphere through natural processes. […]

The environmental group Environmental Defense Fund, which emphasizes the need to eliminate methane leaks in order to reduce the climate impact of natural gas, says that the Aliso Canyon leak has amounted to about 62 million standard cubic feet of methane per day.

"That’s the same short-term greenhouse gas impact as the emissions from 7 million cars," the group says on its website.

Timothy O'Connor, who directs EDF's oil and gas program in California, said the Aliso Canyon leak is of a size and scope that is “unprecedented for California.” [more]

'Unprecedented' gas leak in California is the climate disaster version of BP's oil spill



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