By Timothy Cama - 02/18/16 04:13 PM EST
The company responsible for the natural gas leak north of Los Angeles said Thursday that it had “permanently” sealed the leak after four months.
Southern California Gas Co. and the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources confirmed that the leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility in Porter Ranch, Calif., had been sealed thanks to a relief well the company drilled.
“To the residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding communities, I want to tell you I recognize the disruption that this gas leak has caused to your lives,” Arriola said at a news conference, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I know there is nothing that I can say that will change the past, but I know that measurable actions actually speak louder than words,” he said.
The leak had forced thousands of people in a large area to evacuate since it started in October, due to the dangers of the gas and the noxious additives it contains.
But the methane in the gas meant that the leak was the most significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions in California, adding to the urgency of plugging it.
The Environmental Defense Fund estimates that the leak emitted more than 90,000 metric tons of natural gas, of which methane is the main component, into the atmosphere.
Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest MonizEnergy Dept. helps with Biden’s cancer project Bay Area energy meeting is where climate protection gets real The Trail 2016: Donald and the Supremes MORE visited the site earlier this week, days after a temporary plug had been applied.
The gas utility is facing criminal charges over the incident. The company, along with local, state and federal officials, is continuing to investigate what went wrong.