Los Angeles Area: Snapshot of natural gas leaks


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City snapshot

  • How many leaks: Our readings indicated an average of about one leak for every four miles we drove in Pasadena, one leak for every five miles we drove in Inglewood, one leak for every five miles we drove in Chino, and one leak for every six miles we drove in Orange.
  • Utility: The Los Angeles Area is serviced by Southern California Gas Company.
  • Pipe materials: About 16% of Southern California Gas Company’s pipes are made from corrosive and leak-prone materials.
  • Age of pipes: More than 38% of the pipes in Southern California Gas Company’s territory are more than 50 years old.
  • Where we mapped: We selected four geographically diverse cities in the Los Angeles Area within Southern California Gas Company’s service area: Pasadena, Inglewood, Chino, and Orange. Data from these cities is not necessarily representative of natural gas pipe systems in the entire Los Angeles Area.
  • Natural sources of methane: Biological processes can cause elevated methane concentration in the air. To confidently attribute elevated methane levels to pipeline leaks, we mapped areas that are far enough from known natural methane sources like landfills, wetlands, and water treatment plants.
  • Dates mapped: Cars with air sensors took readings from August, 2014 through May, 2015. This map represents a snapshot in time and may not reflect current leaks due to repairs or other changes.

Explore Los Angeles Area map

Most leaks don’t pose an immediate threat to safety or health, but some can. We have shared this data with Southern California Gas Company. Read a Q&A about methane mapping in the Los Angeles Area.

If you ever smell gas, or have any reason to suspect a problem, experts say to immediately exit the building or area, then call the authorities. For more see the Southern California Gas Company safety page.

More about why leaks are a problem »


Interactive map

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Video: How we map cities

We use Google Street View cars to detect leaks.

More about how this data is different »

Live in California? Ask state officials to address leaks

Not enough resources are currently provided for pipeline repairs and upgrades, meaning leaks can continue for months, or even years. Tell the President of California’s Public Utility Commission how much this issue matters to you.

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If you don’t live in California, find out how you can help.