Southern California Gas Co. said this week that it has abandoned efforts to trap and burn the gas released by a huge natural gas leak in Los Angeles, but also said the 12-week-old leak should be stopped ahead of schedule -- by the end of February or sooner.
The burnoff plan is being abandoned over fears that it could not be done safely, SoCalGas, which is owned by Sempra Energy, said in a statement.
State regulators were scheduled to vote Wednesday on the plan, which had been intended to give quicker relief to residents suffering sickness and irritation because of the emissions. But the plan led to worries of explosions in the Porter Ranch neighborhood where the well is located.
"We do not feel the benefits outweigh the safety risks," company senior vice president Jimmie Cho said. "I’m not going to take any unnecessary safety risks."