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This week, I submitted a resolution to the Los Angeles City Council calling for the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate the unusual rate increases experienced by SoCal Gas customers this month across Los Angeles County. Affected constituents have reported receiving SoCal Gas bills 4 to 6 times higher than their usual rate for this time of year.
On February 2, in partnership with City Attorney Mike Feuer's Office, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and the Korean American Bar Association, my office hosted a Legal Town Hall for residents and businesses affected by the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak.
On Monday, I announced the installation of a Real-Time Fenceline Environmental Monitoring System which has been installed to monitor Methane, Benzene, Toluene, and Xylene in the affected communities of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak. This is state-of-the-art detection technology. It is critical to engage knowledgeable third parties to update our monitoring capabilities for the protection of our families and their health.
The Valley Economic Alliance’s (TVEA) Red Team is assisting businesses in the Porter Ranch business park that are affected by the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak. Since November 2015, businesses in Porter Ranch have been financially impacted and seen a reduction in sales as much as 60-percent. The Valley Economic Alliance’s business assistance and layoff aversion programs offer one-on-one consultations with new businesses, businesses that are struggling or expanding. In the past six months, TVEA has assisted more than 1,200 Valley based businesses that are financially stressed.
I was proud to join my colleague Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck, and LAPD Police Commission president Matthew Johnson at the Los Angeles Crime Forum last night to address the new challenges of policing cities. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released the citywide Part I crimes numbers for 2015. According to the report, crime rates rose to their highest levels in two years, with a 20.2% increase in violent crimes and a 10.7% increase in property crimes over 2014 numbers.
This Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved my motion asking that the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) recognize and extend their relocation efforts to include the immediately adjacent communities of Granada Hills, Chatsworth, and Northridge and that residents requesting relocation from those communities be treated with the same respect and priority as anyone with a reasonable relocation request.
This Tuesday, I submitted a motion requesting LA Sanitation be instructed to provide Sewer Service Charge (SSC) vacancy adjustments and Solid Waste Resource Refuse Fee refund credits for the full period of displacement to customers displaced from their homes due to the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak.
This Tuesday, I toured the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak site with Congressman Brad Sherman and Assemblymember Matt Dababneh and met with top officials from the SoCal Gas Company. As a result of my motion last week, the SoCal Gas Company has provided a map that includes a 5-mile customer service radius (see below) and has agreed to prioritize requests for air filtration systems, in-home air purification systems and relocation services within that radius.
The Aliso Canyon Gas Leak is now past its 90th day. Although the Gas Company has promised a resolution to this crisis by next month, it may be too late for businesses that rely on the more than 10,000 residents that have been relocated. Local businesses like the Starter Set Preschool and Child Development Center are the businesses that have suffered the most during this crisis.
The Gentle Barn, a national animal rescue organization located in Santa Clarita, has a large animal transport and evacuation team ready and equipped to respond to Porter Ranch and surrounding area. The Gentle Barn is currently offering their services to Porter Ranch residents affected by the Aliso Canyon gas leak to temporarily house furry and feathered family members of those affected by the ongoing crisis.
Today, I submitted a motion to the City Council requesting the Los Angeles Police Department report to the Public Safety Committee on the current uptick in crime in the City of Los Angeles. The motion also requests the report include an analysis of crime levels over time, an analysis of possible causes, and provide recommendations for solutions, including a detailed explanation of the Metropolitan Division strategy.
This week, my office hosted a Korean Language Town Hall to disseminate information regarding the gas leak to Korean speaking residents in Porter Ranch and the surrounding communities. The more than 200 attendees received information on utilizing relocation services, installing air purification systems, and reporting ordors.
This Wednesday, I submitted a motion asking that the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) recognize and extend their relocation efforts to include the immediately adjacent communities of Granada Hills, Chatsworth and Northridge and that residents requesting relocation from those communities be treated with the same respect and priority as anyone with a reasonable relocation request.
This Tuesday, I submitted a resolution calling for the City of Los Angeles to sponsor sweeping regulatory reforms for the oil and gas industry. The resolution calls for regulatory reform legislation that will...
The Customer Resource Center, which I requested the SoCal Gas Company open in November, is now open in Porter Ranch. This physical storefront which is ADA accessible and multilingual provides a one-stop portal of information for all members of the public. Several hundred residents per day have already utilized this resource. The SoCal Gas Company expanded this center with the space next door to accommodate growing requests.
Click here to read my testimony submitted to South Coast AQMD on behalf of the community.
Given the prolonged and continuing duration of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and at the request of residents, my office and other local officials, this Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown issued a proclamation that declares the situation an emergency. The order also directs further action to protect public health and safety, ensure accountability and strengthen oversight of gas storage facilities. This issue reaches communities throughout the Northwest San Fernando Valley.
On December 23, the Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office consented to a binding stipulated agreement regarding the relocation of residents affected by the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak. I applaud the efforts of the City Attorney and his staff who have worked around the clock to secure this agreement on behalf of affected residents. I also want to thank SoCal Gas for entering into this binding stipulated agreement for the benefit of our community.
The Porter Ranch Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC), which I established last month, now has live streaming of their weekly meetings available to the public. The purpose of the PRCAC is to improve and promote communication between all of the various stakeholders, residents, schools, parents, public agencies, and businesses in order to increase community awareness, share information, and develop a regular dialogue between the community, SoCal Gas and the various regulatory agencies.
The Customer Resource Center, which I requested the SoCal Gas Company open in November, is now open in Porter Ranch. This physical storefront which is ADA accessible and multilingual provides a one-stop portal of information for all members of the public. Several hundred residents per day have already utilized this resource. The SoCal Gas Company will be expanding this center with the space next door to accommodate growing requests.