Watch Videos from Governor’s Meeting on Jan 15January 18, 2016
On January 15, 2016 the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services held a meeting for members of Porter Ranch and its surrounding communities. The event was held at the Shepherd of the Hills Church, and attracted 1500 members of the community. The event was held to inform the public on what has been done so far to stop the leak as well as what the plans are going forward. More importantly, it gave members of the community the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns to government officials and experts involved in the clean up.
Videos from the meeting can be seen below, and show the meeting in its entirety.
The next town hall meeting will take place Friday, January 22 2016 at the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills – Grand Ballroom at 6:00 PM. Tickets are still available, and you can RSVP here.
In the first video from The Governor’s Town Hall Meeting at Shepherd of the Hills Church you will see the opening statements made by the state and local officials in attendance. The head of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Mike Ghilarducci, moderated the event. As Director of the Emergency Services Office, Mr. Ghilarducci is leading the efforts to restore Porter Ranch to normalcy. In his opening remarks he made it clear that fixing the well and holding those responsible accountable were his top priorities.
Other notable officials in attendance were State Senator Fran Pavley, and State Assemblyman Scott Wilk. Senator Pavley announced legislation that she had been working on with a number of co-sponsors, Assemblyman Wilk included. The legislation hoped to ensure that something like this would never happen again, as well as guaranteeing that SoCalGas would be held responsible.
From the second video, it is clear that residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding areas continue to struggle with the fallout of SoCalGas’ catastrophic gas well blowout. Key frustrations were expressed in the meeting, including SoCalGas’ unwillingness to reimburse residents and relocated families for their property taxes, home expenses or mortgage payments.
Two separate residents requested that updates on this crisis be made available via mail or directly in affected neighborhoods rather than only online, so that more residents would have access to pertinent information.
State officials also touched on the challenges of stopping the methane emissions, namely a need to assess the explosive limits of natural gas before committing to a gas capture program that involves incineration. State representatives at the Town Hall meeting noted that a breakdown of SoCalGas expenses as it relates to the company’s utility rates will be made available on the California Governor’s Office website.
In the third part of the Governor’s Town Hall Meeting, residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding areas ask the panel of state officials and experts about the health concerns, safety measures and legal procedures related to the gas well blowout. A resident asked about two recent Curbed LA articles that discussed possibly elevated levels of carcinogens found in the methane emissions, as well as the overall volume of methane that continues to spew from the blowout site. Her concerns centered around the recent doctor’s visits of a family member and her pet, who were found to have unusually low levels of oxygen in their blood since the crisis. State officials promised to investigate the veracity of the data in the mentioned articles and follow up directly with the resident, as well as with the Neighborhood Council. Residents also inquired about how to report SoCalGas violations of relocation court orders, and the possibility of building above ground natural gas storage in the future so that this type of crisis could be resolved more quickly.
If you have unanswered questions regarding the long-term consequences of the gas well blowout at Aliso Canyon, come to our Town Hall Meeting Friday Jan. 22 at the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills – Grand Ballroom at 6:00 PM. Tickets are still available, and you can RSVP here.