Sharon McNary

Infrastructure Correspondent

Contact Sharon McNary

Infrastructure is what we build together to make life better (and the things that break). My role is to reveal the often-surprising and important systems that make life possible in and around L.A.

Stories by Sharon McNary

The environmental disaster that shook L.A.'s reliance on natural gas

The nation’s largest-ever gas leak poured 100,000 metric tons of methane from the Aliso Canyon gas storage field into the atmosphere. The 2015 blowout near Porter Ranch has cost Southern California Gas Company more than one billion dollars, and generated lawsuits from thousands of plaintiffs, many who say they were sickened by the gas.

The nuclear cleanup at San Onofre isn't moving fast enough, congressmen say

Nuclear waste cleanup at the San Onofre nuclear power plant has been on hold since last summer after a mishap involving a 50-ton container of radioactive material.

New Edison tree-trimming campaign to reduce fire risk is getting local pushback

When work crews hired by Southern California Edison cut back the canopy of shade trees in unincorporated Altadena last month, many residents of the foothill community were angered that their trees were left unsightly and mangled.

Report finds SoCal Edison power lines caused Thomas Fire. What happens now?

The Ventura County Fire Department has determined that power lines were the cause of the Thomas Fire that ravaged the area in December 2017.

SoCal Edison power lines found to have caused the Thomas Fire

The fire started amid high winds that caused parallel power lines to slap into each other, creating an electrical arc that ignited flammable bits of molten aluminum on the ground, which then ignited dry vegetation.

Many Edison customers will start seeing a new power provider on their electricty bills

Nearly one million Southern California Edison customers have been opted into something called the Clean Power Alliance, agovernment entity that can buy power directly on the open energy market and ship it to consumers on existing Edison power lines.

Garcetti moves to shut down 3 power plants in favor of clean energy alternatives

"This is the beginning of the end of natural gas for the LADWP."

An oil well blew in Marina del Rey but authorities took a week to tell the neighbors

An oil well blew earlier this month at a hotel construction site in Marina del Rey. It took county officials more than a week to inform local residents.

When LA County captures stormwater, here's where it goes

When it rains, the Los Angeles County Flood Control system mainly works to channel stormwater runoff to the ocean. But about 28 percent of that rain is captured before it's lost to the Pacific.

The nerve center for stormy L.A.

During a storm, when roads are flooding and mud is flowing, critical decisions get made at the Los Angeles County Public Works operations center in Alhambra.

Most of Montecito's hiking trails reclaimed from the mud

The mudslide that destroyed homes and lives in Montecito last January buried the area’s popular hiking trails under debris and boulders. But nearly a year later, most trails are re-opened, thanks to volunteers, donations, and some carefully placed explosives.

AQMD reviewing new toxic chemical leak at Torrance Refinery

Air quality inspectors were at the Torrance Refinery Monday following up on a toxic chemical spill over the weekend.  Five gallons of Modified Hydrofluoric Acid leaked from a hose as it was being transferred from a tanker truck to a container at the Torrance Refinery.

Woolsey Fire victims say they are facing escalating rents

Nearly a month after the Woolsey Fire was contained, some families whose homes burned are still couch-surfing, staying in hotels, and struggling to find interim homes to live in. Escalating rents in an area with already-low rental vacancy rates mean some insurance policies may not stretch to cover replacement rentals.

This hiking spot is being cleared to reduce a flood threat

In Pasadena, the Hahamongna Watershed Park behind Devil's Gate Dam is a hidden gem of a hiking area, filled with trees and plants.

Fire officials' dilemma: How to deal with those who defy evacuation orders

It happens in every big wildfire. Officials issue mandatory evacuation orders, but some people stay behind and try to save their homes. Sometimes they succeed, and that raises a policy question that firefighters would rather not confront.