Porter Ranch residents report 'oily black spots' after gas leak

- Southern California Gas Co. announced today it plans to visit about 140 homes closest to the previously leaking Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility this week to determine if exterior cleaning work is needed, and it is also cleaning playground equipment and fencing at a series of local parks.

Some residents who returned to their homes after the leak was capped on Feb. 18 have reported oily brown or black spots on their property. County health officials have said the material does not generally pose a health
hazard, but it could cause a rash if touched.

The Gas Co. is providing cleaning services to affected homes. While most reports have involved spots on the exterior of homes, the utility is also assessing a handful of reports of residue inside homes, according to the

SoCalGas officials also said cleaning work was done today on equipment and fencing at Holleigh Bernson and Moonshine Canyon parks at Sesnon Boulevard and Porter Ranch Drive.

The company also plans to do cleaning work at Palisades Park at Tampa Avenue and Braemore Road; Viking Park at Viking and Nau avenues; and Porter Ridge Park at Sesnon Boulevard and Beaufait Avenue.

"We are committed to helping communities affected by the leak return to normal as fast as possible, and when residents expressed concerns about brown spots at local parks, we immediately mobilized crews to address the issue,'' said Gillian Wright, the company's vice president for customer services.

City Councilman Mitch Englander said Holleigh Bernson Park will remain closed until further notice due to oily residue found at the site, even though Gas Co. crews began cleaning the park today. Englander said city environmental experts will be testing residue samples from the park.

Meanwhile, the Community Resource Center at 19731 Rinaldi St.,Northridge, will have revised hours beginning tomorrow. The center will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. It
will be closed Sunday and Monday.

The Chatsworth Business Recovery Center, opened by the Small Business Administration to offer personalized assistance to small businesses hurt by the gas leak, will close at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

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