Southern California Gas Co. has confirmed that the leak that forced thousands of Porter Ranch residents to evacuate their homes has been permanently stopped.
At a news conference Thursday at SoCal Gas’ Chatsworth facility, company officials and government leaders announced that the problem has been resolved and residents can begin to move back home.
“We have good news,” Chief Deputy Director of the State Department of Conservation Jason Marshall said at the press conference. “The Division of Oil and Gas has confirmed that the leak in the Aliso Canyon storage field is permanently sealed.”
After nearly four months of the well spewing an estimated 80,000 metric tons of predominantly methane into the air, the leak was temporarily plugged a weak ago by diverting the base of the well and pumping liquid into it to control gas flow.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against SoCal Gas, and on Wednesday, the subsidiary of Sempra Energy pled not guilty to the criminal charges brought against the company by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. The charges include three counts of failing to report the release of hazardous materials and one count of discharging air contaminants.
Residents have eight days to return home from their temporary housing, and a local assistance center for affected businesses and residents will open Friday at the Mason Recreation Center in Chatsworth.