Englander Joins City Attorney to Announce LA City Suit Against SoCal Gas over Aliso Canyon Leak
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 07, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Today, I joined City Attorney Mike Feuer and Mayor Eric Garcetti to announce the suit filed by the City of Los Angeles against the Southern California Gas Company over the leak at their natural gas storage facility at Aliso Canyon near Porter Ranch in the Northwest San Fernando Valley.
The suit seeks to put into effect judiciously enforceable steps including:
Ensuring the leak is repaired as quickly as possible.
Ensuring the causes of the leak, and the reasons for the inordinate delay in fixing it, are fully understood and action plans put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of event.
Ensure that any systemic deficiencies in the operation of all wells and other infrastructure at the Aliso Canyon facility and similar storage facilities are appropriately addressed.
Address the consequences of the emission of a massive volume of greenhouse gas from this site into the environment.
Impose civil penalties.
On October 23, the SoCal Gas’ Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility suffered a well failure resulting in a gas leak. The leak continues to this day with residents suffering nausea, dizziness, nosebleeds and headaches. Over 2000 families have requested relocation which is being paid for by the SoCal Gas Company.
It is clear that the Southern California Gas Company has been negligent in their responsibility to protect public health and safety with their operations and has caused real harm to their host community. People are sick and families have been displaced....possibly for months, with the true, long-term health effects as yet unknown. I want to thank City Attorney Mike Feuer for working closely with my office to treat this crisis with the urgency it deserves and to hold those accountable who have violated the public trust.
Pictured (left): Councilmember Englander and Mayor Eric Garcetti touring Porter Ranch Community School speaking to students, teachers and parents about their safety concerns (Photo courtesy of the Daily News); Pictured (right): Councilmember Englander touring the Aliso Canyon site with SoCal Gas Company CEO Dennis Arriola.
In order to ensure our residents have the resources they need during this process, I have requested the following from SoCal Gas:
The creations of a dedicated website and physical storefront that are ADA accessible and multilingual in order to provide a one-stop portal of information for all members of the public.
A health study conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on both the short-term and long-term impact of exposure to mercaptans, excess methane levels, and other chemicals and substances related to this incident. I believe the SoCal Gas Company should pay for this study and also for the transparent dissemination of findings to the community.
An opt-in check box in the relocation application so that addresses can be shared with the Los Angeles Police Department in order to add more patrols in areas where residents will be absent.
Any fines levied against SoCal Gas stay in the Porter Ranch community.
Additionally, I have requested the formation of a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) which will meet weekly to establish a regular channel of communication with the community.
To report a smell or potential gas leak, call the SoCal Gas Company at (800) 427-2200 and call the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) at (800) 288-7664 or go online: http://www.aqmd.gov/contact/complaints.
For residents who wish to relocate, the SoCal Gas Company is providing free, temporary housing accommodations, including locations that can accommodate residents with disabilities and people with access and functional needs. And for residents with pets, the SoCal Gas Company has arranged pet-friendly locations. To receive temporary housing accommodations, call 404-497-6808.
If you feel you have suffered illness, harm or injury as a result of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak incident, call the SoCal Gas Company Claims Department at 213-244-5151, or fill out the online form at https://www.socalgas.com/about-us/claims.
For information regarding students and attendance inquiries, contact your child's home school and their administrator. For Porter Ranch Community School, call (818) 709-7100. For Castlebay Lane Charter School, call (818) 360-1908. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) - Northwest Local District will also have information regarding this issue, go to www.lausd.net.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
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