Environment & Science

More families relocated due to Porter Ranch gas leak

Porter Ranch resident Michelle Theriault takes part in a press conference on a gas leak in Porter Ranch after a regular Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting in this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 file photo. SoCal Gas was ordered to provide free temporary relocation for affected residents by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Porter Ranch resident Michelle Theriault takes part in a press conference on a gas leak in Porter Ranch after a regular Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting in this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 file photo. SoCal Gas was ordered to provide free temporary relocation for affected residents by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

More than 132 families have now been relocated from Porter Ranch as Southern California Gas Co. tries to repair a gas leak in nearby Aliso Canyon that has caused a rotten-egg smell to settle over the area.

SoCal Gas was ordered to provide free temporary relocation for affected residents by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The company has received an additional 552 inquiries from residents seeking relocation accommodations, Kristine Lloyd of SoCal Gas told KPCC.

Others are finding their own arrangements. They have to option of booking a hotel and claiming reimbursement up to $250 a night.

The smell is caused by mercaptan, an additive to natural gas that makes it easier to identify leaks.

Residents have filed more than 700 complaints to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, saying the odor is causing severe headaches, nosebleeds and burning sensations in lungs and noses.

The smell threatened to ruin Thanksgiving dinner plans for some residents.

The California Air Resources Board has estimated the leak is large enough to increase the state's output of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — by 25 percent.