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Porter Ranch Leak Capped, Scope of Damage Unknown
The good news is the Porter Ranch gas leak has finally been capped – at least temporarily.
The bad news is the extent of the damage, especially to property values in the area, is far from being known.
On October 23, 2015, SoCal Gas reported that a massive gas leak had started in its Aliso Canyon facility, located near the Porter Ranch subdivision. Nearby residents complained of several health complications, including nausea, nosebleeds, headaches and more. Thousands of people left the area for temporary housing as a result, feeling that conditions had made their homes uninhabitable.
The utility then announced on February 11 that it had successfully placed a temporary cap on the leak, and was in the process of working on a permanent seal. In the meantime, however, millions of pounds of methane escaped into the air.
How Bad Will it Get?
There is almost no doubt that the Porter Ranch gas leak will have a lasting environmental impact on the area – the extent of which may not be known for decades. In the shorter term, however, it will definitely have a massive financial impact. Property values in the area are expected to take a major hit, and it could take years for them to recover. Most houses in the area cost more than $1 million to buy, but they could now be worth far less. Property owners could experience tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – in reduced value.