Englander Calls For Council Hearing on the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak
Posted by Councilmember Englander on November 20, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Today, the City Council unanimously passed my motion calling for the Southern California Gas Company to appear before the Los Angeles City Council to answer questions related to their handling of a gas leak at their County Unincorporated Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility that has plagued the adjacent Porter Ranch community since its occurrence on October 23.
Since that date, there has been a strong gas odor and illnesses that can be expected due to exposure to mercaptans, the odorant added to natural gas. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a November 19th Directive to the Gas Company ordering them to “…repair the subject gas leak on an expedited basis…” and to “…offer free, temporary relocation to any area residents affected by odors from the Aliso Canyon site."
Additionally, The California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and LA City and County Fire and Hazmat have been on site. Air Quality testing is ongoing, but pervasive exposure to the gas leak odor has caused community members to experience headaches, nose bleeds, nausea and other symptoms. According to County Public Health, “Mercaptans….do pose a health threat to the community, including short-term neurological, gastrointestinal, and respiratory symptoms that may result from inhalation.”
Though the Gas Company is engaged in trying to mitigate the gas leak, their own website states that their solution may take several months and incur additional noise, odor and a similar release of fluids into the air, that last week caused residents, schools and businesses to be directed to “…remain indoors until further notice”.
Due to the ongoing and severe nature of the leak, in addition to the uncertainty as to when it will be repaired, it has become necessary for the relevant agencies to appear together to ensure that the proper information is being accurately disseminated and to answer questions from the City Council and Community members in a public forum.
Click here to see the press release and motion.
-Mitchell Englander, Chair Public Safety Committee