EPA Probes Porter Ranch Natural Gas Leak

Thousands have been moved after complaining the smell makes them feel sick.

More than two months after the leak started, methane gas continues to escape from an underground pipe at Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon facility. SoCal Gas acknowledged early in December that a leak had been detected at a natural gas storage well on Oct. 23, but said "experts agree that natural gas is not toxic."

Thousands of residents, however, said the gas smell -- stemming from an odorous additive called mercaptan used to signal a leak -- made them feel sick, bringing on headaches, dizziness and nausea.

"We're devastated," resident David Balen told KABC-TV. "Our community has been shaken up. Our schools have been shaken up. People have been relocated.”

The EPA also said that it had sent an information request to SoCal Gas on Dec. 18. On Monday, SoCal Gas officials said they'd found the location of the leak. Officials said Monday that after careful drilling, they were in the process of fixing the leak but that it could take until late February.

"It's very scary and you know don't know what the long-term effects are going to be," resident Laurie Cherny said. "But, you know. We do our best."