Massive Calif. gas leak may take months to repair

PORTER RANCH, Calif. -- It has been 75 days since a massive gas leak was discovered deep under the Los Angeles suburb of Porter Ranch. On Wednesday, the governor finally declared a state of emergency, and made it clear the gas company will be responsible for all costs from the environmental disaster.

An infrared video shows what you can't see with a naked eye, a geyser, spewing at least 70,00 pounds of gas every hour into Southern California neighborhoods less than two miles away.

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich was blunt about the latest gas leak findings.

"We call this the BP oil spill on land," she said.

A new study, commissioned by a law firm suing Southern California gas, says gas is now reaching Porter Ranch neighborhoods 18 hours of the day.

"This isn't a one-time assault. This is an ongoing assault every single day," said Brockovich.

The source of the leak is a hole in a 62-year-old pipe.

"I personally apologize to the residents of Porter Ranch, our focus is to try and eliminate the nuisance and issues. We apologize for that," said Southern California Gas Chief Operating Officer Bret Lane.

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Infrared video show gas rolling off a bridge in Porter Ranch, California.

www.PorterRanchLawsuit.com

To stop the leak, the utility company needs to drill down 8,000 feet.

They are using a relief well to intersect the leaking pipe and plug it up. The gas company estimates the process will taken until April.

Christine Soderlund's home is less than two miles from the gas leak. She moved after her children started to get sick with unexplained headaches, nausea and nosebleeds.

"I'm worrying about the gas everyday, I'm worrying about my family's health," she said. "Are they going to have health effects 20 years in the future?"

  • Mireya Villarreal

    Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent.