What Makes Methane Gas Toxic?

Methane gas is leaking in California, causing evacuations and sickness. Why is this gas so problematic?

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Brown declares state of emergency at Porter Ranch amid massive gas leak (LA Times)
"The emergency regulations would require Southern California Gas Co. and other operators of gas storage facilities to conduct daily inspections of wellheads using infrared leak-detection technology, verify the mechanical integrity of wells, measure gas flow and pressure and regularly test safety valves, among other steps."

NASA-Funded Study Helps Untangle Methane Mystery (NASA)
"Atmospheric methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but is present in Earth's atmosphere at much lower levels. Because of its large potential impact on climate change, scientists closely monitor its levels."