Symptoms From Aliso Canyon Methane Gas Leak Still Plague Neighbors

PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — The stories are strikingly similar

“I’ve had headaches and nausea,” a neighbor claims.

Some who live in Porter Ranch continue to report symptoms nearly a year after the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak was permanently plugged. Now a local doctor is asking why these symptoms don’t seem to be going away.

Jeffrey Nordella runs an urgent-care clinic in Porter Ranch. He says he is studying 50 patients who have reported symptoms that might be related to environmental exposures.

“Until a study is completed … it is nothing short of an act of negligence to reopen the Aliso Canyon facility. The people of the community deserve better,” Nordella said. “I’m extremely concerned that I’ve just scratched the surface and that there are other significant medical cases within the community.”

SoCal Gas says the huge underground natural gas reservoir is offline while the utility waits for final approval from state regulators to re-inject the wells.

Last month, SoCal gas invited CBSLA to tour the natural gas storage facility, where we were shown new redundant safety systems.

More than 30 of the 114 wells have passed rigorous safety inspections and the facility will remain offline until each of the wells either passes inspection, is temporarily sealed, or plugged and abandoned altogether, representatives say

Nordella says he is meeting with doctors from the L.A. County Department of Environmental Health, where he hopes to help come up with some answers about the cause of his patients’ symptoms.

Meantime, SoCal Gas has agreed to pay the South Coast Air Quality Management District $8.5 million, $1 million of which will fund an independent health study about the potential effects from the gas leak.

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