A massive leak in an underground natural gas pipeline has spewed methane since late October, driving up California's greenhouse gas emissions and chasing thousands of families from their homes, according to a recent NBC News report.
Utility officials in Southern California say they have determined the underground location of a pipe leak, but it could be months before they are able to fix the rupture.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has called the leak an "environmental disaster," and the Los Angeles Unified School District shuttered two area schools for the rest of the year, according to NBC.
"Politicians and environmentalists in California are particularly sensitive to the toll the leak may take on the environment, especially after Gov. Jerry Brown doubled down earlier this year on the state's efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions," NBC reported.
States in the Northeast are also trying reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and pipeline operators like Kinder Morgan are looking to add new underground natural gas pipelines.
"The massive underground leak at a storage facility north of Los Angeles was reported by the Southern California Gas Co. on Oct. 23, and since then has emitted more than 72,000 metric tons of methane, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, which released an aerial video in conjunction with the nonprofit Earthworks that used an infrared camera to make the gas visible," NBC reported.
The California's Air Resources Board says on its website that methane emissions remain in the atmosphere for a shorter period of time than carbon dioxide (CO2). "but when measured in terms of how they heat the atmosphere, their impacts can be tens, hundreds, or even thousands of times greater than that of carbon dioxide."
Thousands of residents of the nearby Porter Ranch community have been voluntarily relocated after many complained of nausea and other illnesses, according to the report.
To read the NBC News article, click here.