It’s been more than a week since the sounds of a large natural gas leak began roaring across the Greater Johnstown area causing concern.
Officials say thousands of pounds of gas began leaking from a pipe at Equitran’s Rager Mountain storage field in Jackson Township November 6th.
Some residents say they remain concerned about the smell of the gas and the headaches they say it causes them.
“I mean obviously no one wants this kind of a leak for any length of time from something as huge as a natural gas storage facility.”
“To me, having a leak like this go on for now 7, approximately 7 or 8 days, that’s a major problem.”
David Hess is the former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and understands why many residents have voiced concern since the gas leak began last week.
“How far away is where the leak happened?” “I’m not quite sure, but I would say no more than two and a half miles.”
And Derek Szala of Jackson Township is not the only resident worried about their health since the gas leak was first reported.
“Well its kind of like sulfur gas smell like if you’ve ever been too close to a propane tank that’s going off, that’s what it smells like. Couldn’t really notice it before here in the neighborhood, but now we can.”
“My brother and I were hiking the other day, we got into a bad pocket and we both started to get a headache from it and we had to hurry up and get out of that valley and get up on a different ridge so we could get fresh air.”
Hess recommends Jackson Township residents near the leak stay alert until the issue is resolved.
“Well, I think if residents are worried about the concentration of natural gas near them, they should ask the company or DEP to monitor that specifically at their homes so they know for sure what kind of concentrations are there.”
However, according to an Equitrans Midstream official, more residents may soon be feeling back to normal again.
“I am pleased to report, that this morning we were successful in getting through the obstruction that we had encountered on Friday and activities to begin the halting of the gas flow have begun.”
The company spokesperson also says members of Equitrans Midstream land team are on site and are available to assist any resident’s concerns.