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California methane leak impact zone doubles in size

PORTER RANCH, Calif. --County health officials said Wednesday they don't believe there will be any long-term effects from the methane gas leak in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles. The gas has been spewing from a well since October.

The pool of people affected by the Porter Ranch gas leak is swelling. Officials have now doubled the impact zone, adding thousands who are eligible to relocate.

Mark Morris is deciding whether to leave.

"This is impacting the planet," said Morris. "This is bad what's going on up there. It needs to stop and it needs to be shut down."

To stop the leak, the utility company, Southern California Gas, is drilling down 8,000 feet and using a relief well to intersect the leaking pipe and plug it up. Crews are being very careful, drilling just 20 feet a day.

Still, SoCalGas announced they expect to have the leak plugged by the end of February.

Congressman Ben Sherman said if the first relief well doesn't work, they will keep trying until the leak is plugged.

"You got to keep trying to seal this until either the field is empty or the leak is plugged," said Congressman Ben Sherman. "If it just keeps leaking, it goes for a year."

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The methane gas lead has the Eng family living in a hotel room

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The Eng family of eight is living out of suitcases in a hotel.

"The kids were experiencing nose bleeds and stomach aches. It was because of them that we actually decided to make the decision to move out and relocate out of Porter Ranch," Leslie Eng explained.

  • Mireya Villarreal

    Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent.