On a screen in a Granada Hills banquet room Tuesday night, about 300 people saw for the first time something they had only been able to smell for the last six weeks: vapors from an out of control natural gas injection well about a mile from their homes in the Los Angeles County community of Porter Ranch. The site has been spilling the powerful greenhouse gas methane at the unprecedented rate of about 100,000 pounds per hour since Oct. 23.
The images came from a video shot with an infrared, or FLIR, camera and were shown by attorneys who convened the meeting.
There was an intake of breath as the camera panned to rooftops that seemed to sit in a cloud of bright pink gas.
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Methane is an especially powerful climate change gas. And residents downwind have had to leave their homes due to the smell from an additive in the gas.