Porter Ranch Gas Blowout No. 1

PhotographerHannah Benet
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryLos Angeles, United States
Photo DateFebruary 2016
Entry Description

This is Cameron, an 11-year-old activist from Porter Ranch, CA. Between Oct 2015 and late Feb 2016, 100,000 metric tons of methane and other gases spewed out of a blown out well behind our homes. Initially the company responsible reassured us that the gas was harmless. Then people started experiencing symptoms including headaches, nausea, rashes, and uncontrollable nosebleeds. Cameron and his family were involved in the fight to keep their community safe since the blowout started. Cameron testified for the board of County Supervisors and wrote to Erin Brockovich, who made time to meet him. His mom was the sign maker for the rallies. They were involved in the fight to move children out of schools where the air was toxic. Their involvement came to a screeching halt when Cameron’s Dad came down with a sudden illness. He passed away 28 hours later. He was 45 years old.