Porter Ranch, CA — At a press conference today, Food & Water Watch and members of the San Fernando Valley sickened by the massive gas explosion at Aliso Canyon five years ago demanded the commitment of Los Angeles’ city councilmembers in shutting the toxic site down. The Council convened after the press conference and heard public comment, passing a resolution urging Governor Newsom to firm up a timeline to close the SoCalGas facility. 14 of the 15 council members voted in favor of the resolution.
“Five years is too long to wait for justice,” said Food & Water Watch California Director Alexandra Nagy. “But today’s action puts the communities of the San Fernando Valley one step closer to a resolution. Cities across California are transitioning away from fossil fuels and shutting down the dangerous infrastructure associated with them. It’s time for Governor Newsom to fulfill his promise to the communities of the San Fernando Valley and all Californians and use his executive authority to immediately close the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.”
“Governor Gavin Newsom, stop ignoring the other health crisis right here in LA,” said Matt Pakucko, co-founder of Save Porter Ranch and 14-year resident of Porter Ranch. “You shut down the entire state. It’s time to shut down this health disaster. It is as real as Covid for the thousands of people that are continually sickened by this fossil fuel dinosaur.”
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has yet to instruct LADPH to pursue a patient-based study examining the health impacts of the blowout on San Fernando Valley residents, despite a $25 million settlement with SoCalGas to do just that. To this day, members of the community suffer from nosebleeds, headaches, nausea and cancer.
“Shutting down Aliso Canyon won’t undo any of the deaths or illness, nor cause asthma to be cured, nor my high risk of cancer recurrence to go away,” said Kyoko Hibino, another co-founder of Save Porter Ranch. “But it will protect future generations from being exposed to toxins and carcinogens. We need clean air. This is a basic human right.”
The move comes after a similar resolution from multiple cities and elected officials to shut down SoCalGas’ Playa Del Rey facility.
You can access the press conference video here.