Rancho Cucamonga gas leak not reported to air quality district, spokesman says

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Inspectors from the South Coast Air Quality Management District have concerns regarding a gas leak and its aftermath plaguing an Alta Loma neighborhood and have sent inspectors to investigate.

“We are concerned that our inspectors could not detect any odors,” AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood said in an email. “Typically natural gas has a very distinctive, foul smell due to an odorant added as a safety precaution.”

Southern California Gas Co. crews have been staked out in front of homes in the 6200 block of Jadeite Avenue around the clock and have drilled holes in the streets, sidewalks and driveways and placed venting systems in the ground throughout the neighborhood and on privately owned properties, residents said.

• Related Story: Rancho Cucamonga gas leak, now in 2nd week, is killing trees, residents say

A statement from SoCalGas on Thursday said the leak, reported May 8, was repaired last week. Crews now are working “to remove trace amounts of natural gas trapped in the soil. Our crews are working as quickly and as safely as possible to resolve the situation.”

Air quality inspectors were sent to the area Thursday to assess the situation after a resident complained about the incident.

SoCalGas never advised the air quality district about the leak, according to Atwood.

• Photos: Gas Company workers on site in Rancho Cucamonga for days

“Inspectors accompanied by air monitoring staff have returned to the site today,” Atwood wrote Friday. “We are using field instruments as well as collecting air samples to be analyzed in our laboratory to assess air quality in the area of the leak.”

Residents in the Rancho Cucamonga neighborhood said they have remained in their homes for the nearly two weeks since it was discovered gas was leaking into the ground beneath their homes.

“Our properties have had exposure to high levels of leaking gas,” homeowner Judy Newsome wrote in an…

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