For Immediate Release
Los Angeles, CA – At a press conference the day after SoCalGas announced it had reached an agreement to end litigation related to the Aliso Canyon gas blowout, plaintiffs in the suit and community members impacted by the blowout made it clear that Governor Newsom must shut down the facility immediately.
Governor Newsom directed the California Public Utilities Commission to expedite the closure of Aliso Canyon in November 2019. Despite this, the CPUC is considering a proposal by SoCalGas to increase the storage limits at the field, and use of Aliso Canyon has ramped up in the last two years. Community leaders urged Gov. Newsom to show bold leadership and put a timeline in place to close the facility immediately.
“No amount of money can make up for the suffering Los Angeles communities have endured after the Aliso Canyon gas blowout,” said Food & Water Watch’s California Director Alexandra Nagy. “Governor Newsom has survived the recall and yet this community has not seen justice served. Every time this facility is used, the community immediately reports health issues. It is a constant trauma for this community as long as the SoCalGas facility remains open. We are calling on Governor Newsom to keep his promise and shut this facility down.”
97 percent of the plaintiffs must agree with the payout SoCalGas is proposing for the settlement to become final. SoCalGas has yet to reveal any details on how the $1.8 billion would be distributed among the 36,000 plaintiffs.
“It’s actually an insulting number,” said Matt Pakucko, co-founder of Save Porter Ranch and 14-year resident of Porter Ranch. “The most important issue is not the one that’s in the headlines. It’s shutting down Aliso Canyon. So we’re calling on Gavin Newsom to do what you promised to do in your campaign and shut this facility down. This place needs to be shut down with your executive order. It’s already been proven so many times that it’s not needed for energy.”
From Andrew Krowne, President and Cofounder of Environmental Health Research: “That settlement is a tiny amount compared to the pain and suffering people have gone through. What I want to know is where is the multibillion dollar long term medical fund for the people that live here? No amount of money is going to restore the mental health or safety of all the people that live in the North San Fernando Valley while this monster still exists in these hills.”
“I now have asthma, COPD and two nodules on my lungs and one on my kidney and my thigh bone. Four people on my street have cancer. Two have died. We need to come to a better settlement. They should have asked us before they made a settlement,” said Maureen Capra, a 47-year resident of Porter ranch.
Contact: Jessica Gable, (202) 683-2478, [email protected]