Sharon McNary

Infrastructure Correspondent

Contact Sharon McNary

Sharon McNary is a correspondent for Southern California Public Radio covering infrastructure. She uses public records, public engagement sourcing and other methods (like good old fashioned shoe leather) to help draw stories from the experience, expertise and concerns of our communities as well as from political agendas. These days, she is covering the built environment around Southern California -- sidewalks, water and sewer systems -- to find out what's working, what's broken, and who's fixing it.

In her first three years at KPCC, Sharon launched KPCC’s Public Insight Network, a group of several thousand people who — by sharing their experiences and expertise — help the newsroom cover Southern California. People who respond to Public Insight Network questions have been included in many KPCC award-winning news reports, including investigative coverage of prison conditions, long-form narratives, and talk show segments.

A military veteran, McNary was a computer programmer before she was a journalist, so she has always sought out tech-savvy and creative ways to cover news.

McNary has worked in TV news and documentaries, radio, wire service and newspapers in the Southern California news market, developing award-winning investigative and computer-assisted reporting projects.

Following a mid-career public service break with the Peace Corps in Bolivia, McNary returned to print and multimedia reporting. She has covered disasters, government corruption, growth and immigration, often using databases, mapping and other technology tools to break news.

McNary is an avid cook, seamstress and knitter while her outdoor pursuits are competing in marathons and triathlons

Stories by Sharon McNary

Second gas leak was discovered at Porter Ranch

Oil company fined $75,000 for venting methane amid SoCal Gas' Porter Ranch gas leak. Scientists flying over the Porter Ranch gas leak discovered the sneaky leak

Torrance refinery sees flareup after brief power outage

ExxonMobil said a power outage at its Torrance refinery caused an unplanned flareup starting at about 6:15 p.m.

Weaker AQMD smog rules under attack by state, environmentalists

The regional air quality board is being sued after it ditched the plan its staff wrote and adopted one favored by the oil industry.

Are 'superbugs' putting ocean swimmers at risk?

Local sewage plants say its unlikely they are discharging deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria called CRE into the ocean, but it's not something they test for.

AQMD board fires executive after 18 years

The board shifted to a Republican majority last year, signaling a potential change in philosophy that some say is more focused on business interests and less on air pollution.

AQMD's longtime chief could be ousted by new GOP majority

A new Republican majority on the board will consider firing the air quality board's top executive in a closed-door meeting this Friday.

LADWP braces for gas shortages this summer

When gas supplies run short, as they are expected to this summer, big gas-burning power plants could be among the first users to be cut off.

SoCal Gas posts higher earnings despite gas leak costs

The bill to deal with the leaking gas well is at $330 million and counting, but SoCal Gas is relying on a billion dollar insurance policy to cover the cost

Temporary outdoor watering ban to begin in Pasadena, Altadena

A MWD water plant has been taken offline for an upgrade, so a few local water retailers won't have access to supplies

Like Porter Ranch, these LA neighborhoods have aging gas wells nearby

An aging oil well used to inject and withdraw natural gas from underground fields was the problem at Porter Ranch. Similar old wells exist near homes in other areas.

LA to hire oil and gas expert to help defuse controversies

As calls for restricting oil and gas operations mount, city officials say they need expert advice to chart next steps.

Porter Ranch: Lessons from past attempt to kill a well

The Porter Ranch gas leak is temporarily stopped using a method SoCalGas first tried 25 years ago on a different well -- with mixed results.

Air quality scientist uses lasers to detect Porter Ranch methane

The leak may be capped but testing continues as Porter Ranch residents question when the air will clear. One scientist drives around in a mobile methane detector.

Porter Ranch facts vs. rumors

SoCalGas has spent $1.4 million on public relations yet continues to struggle to answer questions about the effects of the gas leak and counteract rumors.

Porter Ranch: Massive gas leak could be capped next week

An adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown told residents of Porter Ranch on Thursday that the final phase to intercept the ruptured well should start Monday.