Porter Ranch gas leak hearing added more confusion to complicated situation
At a recent Porter Ranch gas leak hearing, tempers flared as residents and air regulators failed to agree. This is the second hearing related to the massive gas leak, which has made many Porter Ranch residents, and their pets ill and forced 12000 of them to relocate.
On Saturday, the second Porter Ranch gas leak hearing took place at the Granada Hills Charter High school in Porter Ranch, Los Angeles, California. During the hearing, residents and the South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board had a heated face-off again.
The residents and the air regulators have been debating on what kind of action to take after the massive October gas leak, which mostly affected methane connected to the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility near Porter Ranch.
Porter Ranch residents have reported headaches, nausea, and severe nosebleeds. In December, it cost the gas company $50 million to relocate more than 2,200 families and their pets from the Porter Ranch neighborhood. An additional 6,500 families have filed for help, and two schools were to be relocated in January.
During this weekend’s hearing air regulators called for shutting off the stench of natural gas and residents demanded the shutting down of the leaking Aliso Canyon gas field above Porter Ranch. Moreover, seeing that the two parties could not agree, another meeting was scheduled for Wednesday.
On January 9, after a mountain of lawsuits and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency at Porter Ranch, the air board and gas company came up with an initial agreement, which called for:
“SoCalGas to halt the well leak as soon as possible, capture the gas, draw down its massive underground reservoir, monitor emissions, provide detailed records and fund an independent community health study.”
However, after 100 people testified and demanded a better deal during the hearing, the board added other provisions to the agreement – mainly on how to handle future leaks. Still unhappy with the proposal, residents killed it and requested new hearings.
Many of the 2,479 households, who have relocated out of Porter Ranch, are eager to be at the January 20 hearing to bring up another issue – many claimed that the methane may have caused health problems or killed their pets. Paul Terterian, whose family has been relocated, said:
“My wife has been sick. I took my dog to the emergency room. My dog has been put on oxygen. There’s something going on. Shut it down. Give us fresh air. We want to go home.”
What are your thoughts on the Porter Ranch gas leak hearing and the surrounding drama?