From: CBS Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The utility whose leaking natural gas well has driven thousands of Los Angeles residents from their homes has publicly understated the number of times airborne levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene have spiked over the past three months, the company’s own data suggests.
In trying to reassure the public there’s no long-term health risk from the leak, Southern California Gas Co. has said in news releases and FAQs on its website that since the crisis began, just two air samples briefly showed elevated concentrations of the substance.
But a closer look at the online data by The Associated Press and outside experts actually shows that a dozen samples from the Porter Ranch community contained at least twice the amount of benzene that Southern California air regulators consider the normal background level. MORE