Report suggests SoCal Gas knew of hazards at Porter Ranch facility

- "I would say I’m feeling frustrated and upset," Porter Ranch resident and mother of three children, Shawna Nazari, said.

She described what it’s like living in her neighborhood overcome with the smell of natural gas. Nazari planned to make Porter Ranch a permanent home for her family, but she’s now relocating them.

"Relocating is not that easy when you have three kids or even if you are single you can’t pack up your whole house into a hotel room,” Nazari said. 

She and her family are joining 2,157 other residents relocated in temporary housing since a SoCal gas storage facility began leaking last October.

A report resurfacing from November 2014 suggests the gas company was aware of hazards with its older equipment and petitioned the Public Utilities Commission for more funds to invest in technology that would help improve inspections.

“We have much lower standards for storage facilities, which was a disaster waiting to happen and now its happened,” Rep. Brad Sherman, (D) California, said.

Sherman, who is also a Porter Ranch resident, is calling for more robust inspections of natural gas storage facilities.

“You’ve got to know when it’s going to leak, not just when it is leaking,” he said.
SoCal gas said the company is in compliance with all inspection regulations and storage facilities are monitored daily. 

“We conduct daily observations to ensure everything is in proper working order and weekly checks of pressure readings to confirm their condition,” the company said in a statement. “Any unexpected findings from any of these tests would lead to further analysis and work designed to make sure the concern was addressed.”

The utility is working to stop the Porter Ranch leakage in the spring of 2016.

Nazari, who is also an attorney, said her clients have been smelling gas long before SoCal gas disclosed the problem.

“They have either documented smelling gas over the last several years either by calling the gas company or calling 9-11 so its been there,” she said.

As of Thursday morning, more than 1,100 people are still awaiting temporary relocation.

Residents can now speak face to face with a company representative at a community resource center located at 19731 Rinaldi Street. 

The important thing for people to know is they can get an immediate relocation and come back to the company, give us their receipts and we will compensate them,” Mike Mizrahi, SoCal gas spokesperson, said.

Copyright 2015 FOX 11 Los AngelesDownload our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories