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At the end of last year I was fortunate to work on assignment for Newsweek Magazine about the massive gas leak in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, where an estimated 97,100 tonnes of methane and 7,300 tonnes of ethane was released into the atmosphere, making it the worst natural gas leak in U.S. history in terms of its environmental impact.

© 2016 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek Magazine
© 2016 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek Magazine

Residents fled their homes in the affluent neighborhood after smells and health problems were reported. To this day, there are questions if it is safe to return and efforts are continuing to permanently close the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility.

© 2016 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek Magazine
© 2016 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek Magazine

An excerpt from the online story and video that made me chuckle:

“The next day, I met Pakucko in Bee Canyon Park, in a community directly east of Porter Ranch that is called Granada Hills. SoCalGas denied my request to visit SS-25, but Pakucko said we could at least get a good view of the relief well if we hiked to a nearby hill. It seemed like a good way to spend the afternoon, though it occurred to me very quickly that by “hike,” he had not meant “leisurely stroll.” Both he and the Newsweek photographer came prepared, with winter wear, backpacks, snacks and flashlights. I recalled with some trepidation that mountain lions are known to roam the outer edges of Los Angeles.”

Shannon Waldman, 12, (in blue) and twin sister Katherine Waldman (in white) play with Cameron Waldman, 6, in Holleigh Bernson Memorial Park as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on Sunday, January 3, 2016. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek
Shannon Waldman, 12, (in blue) and twin sister Katherine Waldman (in white) play with Cameron Waldman, 6, in Holleigh Bernson Memorial Park as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on Sunday, January 3, 2016. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek

One never knows what the day might hold, but I enjoy being prepared and physically able to handle challenging environments – especially with a bunch of camera gear! Since the videographer was unable to hike up the mountain, I had to provide the additional video footage for her story.

The sun sets over the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, looking towards where a leaking gas well and a relief well are being drilled, at the top of a public hiking trail from Bee Canyon Park as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. The Aliso Canyon gas leak (also called Porter Ranch gas leak) was a massive natural gas leak that started on October 23, 2015. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek
The sun sets over the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, looking towards where a leaking gas well and a relief well are being drilled, at the top of a public hiking trail from Bee Canyon Park as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. The Aliso Canyon gas leak (also called Porter Ranch gas leak) was a massive natural gas leak that started on October 23, 2015. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon/Newsweek

An archive of photos can be seen on my PhotoShelter site from Porter Ranch.

Homes stand in a Porter Ranch housing development as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
Homes stand in a Porter Ranch housing development as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
Co-founders of Save Porter Ranch Kyoko Hibino and Matt Pakucko, right, sit on their couch with their cats during a tour of their home as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
Co-founders of Save Porter Ranch Kyoko Hibino and Matt Pakucko, right, sit on their couch with their cats during a tour of their home as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
A flyer for "Smell Something? Say Something." is seen at the home of co-founders of Save Porter Ranch Kyoko Hibino and Matt Pakucko, right, as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
A flyer for “Smell Something? Say Something.” is seen at the home of co-founders of Save Porter Ranch Kyoko Hibino and Matt Pakucko, right, as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
Rodger Schwecke of SoCalGas draws a basic diagram of how the relief well will intercept and stop the leak during an interview. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
Rodger Schwecke of SoCalGas draws a basic diagram of how the relief well will intercept and stop the leak during an interview. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
A hiker climbs up a hillside before sunset near Bee Canyon Park as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
A hiker climbs up a hillside before sunset near Bee Canyon Park as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
A No Trespassing sign and fence mark the boundary of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, looking towards where a leaking gas well and a relief well are being drilled. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
A No Trespassing sign and fence mark the boundary of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, looking towards where a leaking gas well and a relief well are being drilled. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
A No Trespassing sign and fence mark the boundary of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
A No Trespassing sign and fence mark the boundary of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
Equipment is seen in the hillside of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility behind a Porter Ranch Housing development on Sesnon Blvd. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
Equipment is seen in the hillside of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility behind a Porter Ranch Housing development on Sesnon Blvd. © 2015 Patrick T. Fallon
Signage directs prospective buyers to new housing developments under construction in the Porter Ranch neighborhood as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
Signage directs prospective buyers to new housing developments under construction in the Porter Ranch neighborhood as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
Tire skid marks cover an intersection between a housing development, left, and Porter Ranch Community School, right, as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The school had been closed as a precaution due to the leak. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
Tire skid marks cover an intersection between a housing development, left, and Porter Ranch Community School, right, as methane gas leaks from the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility well SS-25 in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The school had been closed as a precaution due to the leak. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
A car drives past an illuminated display on Sesnon Blvd. warning would be burglars that the LAPD is in the area and to encourage residents - many who have moved out of their homes - to call 911 if they see criminal activity. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon
A car drives past an illuminated display on Sesnon Blvd. warning would be burglars that the LAPD is in the area and to encourage residents – many who have moved out of their homes – to call 911 if they see criminal activity. © 2016 Patrick T. Fallon

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