PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — The Aliso Canyon natural-gas leak could trigger another fallout, and this one may have an effect beyond Porter Ranch.
The new problem may lead to power outages across Southern California as state utility regulators and large utilities worry gas supplies could run short during peak demands in the summer.
That is because many of the largest power plants in Los Angeles County, including the one in Burbank, run on natural gas, which comes from the wells at the Aliso Canyon facility.
Right now, the underground storage field is only 20 percent full. The California Public Utilities Commission said the field cannot be filled again until all 114 wells there are inspected to make sure they won’t blow also.
The well that started leaking in October forced thousands of Porter Ranch residents to temporarily relocate after they complained that the toxic air made them sick, even after the leak was capped.
But the inspection is a slow process. So, all the major power companies are warning about possible blackouts and planning for who may need to have power cut off first.
Porter Ranch resident Kristina Zitkovich doesn’t buy the power outage story. “We’re afraid they are going to intentionally do the brown-outs” just to teach the community a lesson.
Either way, she said safety for her family comes first. “I rather take a cold shower than have cancer in 10 years,” she said.