Ponca City man displaced from home for more than 200 days

Ponca City Now - May 5, 2014 6:29 am

A man, his wife and four children have been hopping from hotel to rent house to hotel to rent house for the past 203 days. Chris Walls and his family were displaced from their home of 16 years on south Fifth because of a methane gas leak.

Walls said Oklahoma Natural Gas first acknowledged the leak in 2006. In 2012 he got fed up with having to replace his gas line every two years, and his gas was eventually turned off indefinitely. The Oklahoma Corporation Committee has torn up his yard and driveway, and comes to the house daily to take readings. Walls also said the city drilled holes in the road he lives off to try and find a source.

“It’s 203 days in and all we know right now is we have an unknown source of combustible gas," Walls said. "After all that investigating that they have done that’s all that they can tell me. You know we’re over a half a year into this and we’ve moved no where.”

Walls has talked to the City Manager, Mayor, ConocoPhillips refinery, District Representative and a Governor candidate. He also said he is waiting on a call back from State Representative, Pam Peterson who enacted the gas seep fund.

Walls said the leak has only been found on his property, but he has taken matters into his own hands.

“ I just ordered a methane detector, detects methane, propane, benzene, all those flammable combustible gases," Walls said. " I just ordered a thing for that and I had a lady on the Ponca City Community Watch page that told me I could come over there and probe her yard sometime. So, I am fixing to widen up the search on this stuff, because I want to know if it’s elsewhere or just on my property. Right now they are telling me it’s just my property, I am the only one being directly affected by it.”

He also isn’t convinced it’s methane. He said it has a sweet taste and distinct smell, and methane is odorless and tasteless.


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