Porter Ranch Gas Blowout

PhotographerHannah Benet
Prize3rd Place in People / Other_P
Entry Description

These images were taken in my hometown of Porter Ranch, CA, during the largest methane leak in the history of the United States. From October 2015 to late February 2016, approximately 100,000 metric tons of methane spewed out own a blown out well at the Aliso Canyon storage facility in Porter Ranch. Initially the gas company said that the gas was harmless. Then residents started experiencing symptoms including rashes, nausea, headaches, and severe nosebleeds. Children were especially vulnerable. Eventually schools were shut down and families were relocated for several months. The carbon footprint of the Porter Ranch Gas Blowout is bigger than the BP oil spill; however, it lacked dramatic imagery because the leaking gas was invisible. These photos were taken a few weeks before the blowout was finally capped. All of the kids in the photos are from Porter Ranch and surrounding communities impacted by the blowout.