LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The president of the Southern California Gas Company apologized Tuesday to Porter Ranch residents for a gas leak discovered more than a month ago that has yet to be contained.
Gas Co. President Dennis Arriola made the apology at a meeting with officials from the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, city and county fire departments and the Southern California Air Quality Management District at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.READ MORE: Rain, Hail Fall On Parts Of Orange County
“We fell short of your expectations and quite frankly ours as well,” said Arriola. “The buck stops with me as the leader of SoCalGas.”
SoCal Gas officials say it could take months to fix the leak, which has prompted hundreds of complaints and spurred more than 200 people to temporarily relocate.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reported Porter Ranch residents protested outside of City Hall during the meeting.
According to the gas company, the methane gas leak was discovered on Oct. 23 by crews at the Aliso Canyon storage facility located near Northridge.READ MORE: Crews Working To Contain Brush Fire Burning In Whittier Narrows Area
More than 600 residents have since complained of a rotten-egg smell in the area. Symptoms such as nosebleeds, headaches and nausea have also been reported by those living near the storage facility.
“We’re concerned for the residents,” said L.A. County Supervisor’s Deputy Tony Bell. “This gas leak has been going on for over a month now with no end in sight and no explanation as to how it began or who approved that gas storage in the first place.”
Meanwhile, health officials have stressed the leak does not pose a threat because the gas dissipates outdoors and is coming from over a mile away.
During last week’s meeting with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, utility workers said the leak could take up to three months to fix.
Since the incident, SoCal Gas has been providing free, temporary relocation to affected residents in the area. At this time, at least 80 families have taken advantage of the offer.
The cause of the leak remains under investigation.MORE NEWS: CDC Reverses Advisory Panel Recommendation, Includes High-Risk Workers In Booster Shot Eligibility
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