LOS ANGELES — The Board of Supervisors has voted to send a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown asking him to intervene to stop the gas leak affecting Porter Ranch residents.
On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Supervisor Michael Antonovich called on the board to send the letter urging the governor to use executive authority to direct the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to take immediate action to resolve the leak at the Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.
“To ensure the safety of residents of Porter Ranch and surrounding communities, we are asking the governor and state agencies to conduct a full investigation into the gas company’s efforts to expedite the abatement of this public health threat,” Antonovich said.
“Going on 38 days with no certainty as to when the leak will be resolved, many of our residents are suffering with health effects, having to relocate or dealing with lowered property values resulting from this hazard.”
Steven Bohlen of the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources told the board the leak was “an unusually challenging event” but that “the division believes that the company has taken the right steps.”
The gas company is expected to begin drilling a relief well later this week, but it is expected to take two months or more to complete the work.
“Time is an enemy,” Bohlen told the board, but added that moving too quickly could create a new set of problems.
The board will also send a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission requesting a review to determine whether the utility is in full compliance of a directive ordering expedited abatement.
In addition, Attorney R. Rex Parris’ law firm, representing residents of Porter Ranch has sent a 54-page letter to state officials demanding “the State Oil & Gas Supervisor issue an emergency order requiring So. Cal. Gas to stop all injections in this oilfield” by Dec. 3.
“Let there be no mistake about the impact this leak is having on the families in Porter Ranch,” Parris said in the letter. “Almost 300 families had to evacuate during this holiday season. The families in this community live here because it is supposed to be safe, and now it is not. Children and adults suffer from regular nosebleeds, headaches, nausea and vomiting. These families have a right to live without toxic poisoning of their neighborhood.”