Englander Leads Hearing on Aliso Canyon Gas Leak with SoCal Gas Company
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 04, 2015 at 12:00 PM
This week, at my request, the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) appeared before the Los Angeles City Council alongside representatives from the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), LA County Public Health, Los Angeles County Fire, Los Angeles Fire Department, the Southern California Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and the Emergency Management Department to answer questions regarding the gas leak at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility that has plagued the adjacent Porter Ranch community since 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. As of today, over 500 families have been relocated, with another 1000 in process, taking families away from their homes during the holiday season and removing children from their neighborhood schools.
The communication failure by the SoCal Gas during this crisis is unacceptable. In order to ensure our residents have the resources they need during this process, I have requested the following from SoCal Gas:
Creating 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.
With our community frightened about health and safety and rising concerns over the stated short-term health effects and possible long-term risks, it is critical that the community be given accurate information about the leak from all the entities with jurisdiction. I am also pleased that environmental activist Erin Brockovich will be assembling a team to represents the resident of Porter Ranch.
Click here to view full Daily News article on Erin Brockovich coming to Porter Ranch.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District