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PRNC 2017 Year In Review

In 2017 the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council continued to keep a careful eye on the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility and advocate on behalf of the community at every turn. In addition to this essential advocacy, we have reached out to engage the community with events and clean ups and our Beautification, Education, Homeless Solutions, Land Use, Outreach and Sustainability committees have been actively making an impact on Porter Ranch.

Aliso Canyon Advocacy

The status of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility continues to be the PRNC’s highest priority. After taking a formal clear position  on this facility in late 2016 in which the PRNC asked for the closure of the facility, the PRNC initiated an intensive and focused effort to achieve this goal. The following are highlights of these activities and the various Aliso-related events that took place in 2017:

PRNC Speaks at DOGGR Hearing February 1, 2017

  • February 1 and 2, 2017 – The State Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), held a public meeting during which they received public comments on their draft Safety Review and draft Required Gas Inventory finding for the Aliso Canyon facility. The PRNC submitted detailed comments to DOGGR on their draft safety review, and detailed comments to CPUC on their draft inventory finding. The PRNC also made strong public statements at the February public meeting calling for the closure of the facility.
  • February 28, 2017 – the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Hearing Board held a public meeting during which the Board was to vote on the settlement agreement between the AQMD and SoCalGas.  The PRNC objected strongly to this settlement agreement, because it allocated a highly insufficient amount of money towards a community health study while depositing the vast majority of the settlement in the AQMD’s general fund to be used for other purposes.  The PRNC gave public comments at the hearing, and then at a follow up hearing on the topic on March 2.  Unfortunately, the Hearing Board voted to accept the settlement agreement between AQMD and SoCalGas. 
  • June 14, 2017 – The PRNC submitted letters to Councilman Mitchell Englander and Supervisor Kathryn Barger, urging them to pass resolutions at City Council and County Board, respectively, in support of the expedited and responsible closure of the Aliso Canyon facility.
  • July 19, 2017 – DOGGR and CPUC issued their final Safety Review and Required Gas Inventory findings.  While the PRNC was highly disappointed with the DOGGR finding, we were pleased with two key components of the CPUC finding: First, the CPUC limited the storage volume to 14.8 Billion Cubic Feet (BcF) when the field had stored as much as 86 Bcf in the past.  Second, and more importantly, the CPUC instructed SoCalGas to maintain Aliso Canyon as a supply of last-resort and should only be used when all other sources have been maxed out and there continues to be concern over gas shortages.  A summary of the operational constraints can be found at our website. 
  • July 19, 2017 – Along with the DOGGR and CPUC final findings, the California Energy Commission (CEC) sent a letter to the CPUC  informing them that Governor Brown has asked the CEC to “plan for the permanent closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility”, and urged the CPUC to do the same.  

Yet, in spite of the fact that the facility remains in “standby mode”, SoCalGas issued 6 public notices of either chemical or gas releases at the facility:

  • January 5, 2017 – diesel fuel spill
  • March 7, 2017 – chemical solution spill into the local creek requiring the attention of Los Angeles County HAZMAT team.
  • June 2, 2017 – Crimson oil, an oil-drilling company that leases land from SoCalGas, had an open valve releasing gas into the atmosphere.
  • October 8, 2017 – SoCalGas reported a malfunctioning valve that was releasing gas into the atmosphere.
  • December 1, 2017 – SoCalGas crew conducted intentional venting of gas into the atmosphere that registered as high methane readings on the fenceline minors and caused alarm in the community.
  • December 18, 2017 – SoCalGas reported the release of gas into the atmosphere during one of their maintenance activities.

The PRNC has also formed an Aliso Canyon Ad Hoc committee that engages representatives from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the AQMD with the goal of identifying funding for permanent independent fenceline gas monitoring to better inform the community of gas releases from the facility.

The PRNC continues to engage with all local and State agencies on this matter, and continues to work towards the goal of expedited and responsible closure of the Aliso Canyon gas facility.

Beyond Aliso Canyon

In addition to our Aliso Canyon advocacy, we have been reaching out and impacting the community through our committees. The committees are where the real work happens since each item the board considers has first been carefully considered by a committee. Committees consist of board members and stakeholders, which means that you are welcome to come to any committee meeting with a topic of interest to you. Reach out to a committee chair with your idea and come to a committee meeting.

Beautification and Outreach

Wilbur Clean Up

The Beautification, Sustainability and Outreach Committees partnered with Northridge West Neighborhood Council to host the Earth Day Family Celebration and Clean Up. The day began with a clean up at Tampa and Wilbur collecting 170 bags of debris. The event continued with lunch for participants at the Holleigh Bernson Memorial Park with earth day games, relays and scavenger hunts for the kids and environmental information for all. About 200 attendees took part.

Clean Streets

The Beautification Committee also facilitated hiring a contractor to clean up overgrown tree wells and complete street sweeping on Tampa, Sesnon, Reseda and Wilbur in the month of August.

Holiday Party Jazz Band

The Outreach Committee organized the annual Holiday Celebration at Castlebay Lane Charter Elementary. About two hundred people met neighbors and enjoyed a savory Stonefire Grill dinner to the tune of a local jazz band. A special thank you to Castlebay for providing their wondering Performing Arts Center for this event.

Education Committee

  • Hosted an Education Town Hall at the Porter Ranch Community School May 2017 addressing issues of concern for the community such as meeting the growing student population, traffic safety issues and more.
  • Partnered with LAUSD to recommend to LADOT some traffic improvements such as crosswalks, stop signs, and speed bumps around Castlebay.

Homelessness Solutions Committee

  • Launched in November 2017 and plans to meet bi-monthly with the goal of getting to know and engage the homeless individuals in Porter Ranch and to inform them of, and to enable them to, seek the help that the city offers through their Coordinated Entry System. 
  • Conducted two Homeless Outreaches into Porter Ranch and met at total of eight homeless individuals. Our Homeless Outreaches are done monthly, usually near the end of the month on a Thursday. We provide those we meet with information about shelter with food and access to a Coordinated Entry System specialist, who can assist them in getting off the street. We also provide a donated Tap Card for transportation to the shelter.
  • PRNC Vice President Susan Gorman-Chang is our Homeless Liaison who attends working meetings to learn what resource are available to help our homeless whether it be an official city program or the sharing of best practices among our neighborhood councils.

Land Use Committee

Vineyards at Porter Ranch

  • Hosted guest speaker John Love, VP Commercial at Shapell who provided an update on the commercial plans for the Vineyards, which broke ground on June 1, 2017 at the intersection of Rinaldi Street and Porter Ranch Drive. The medical building south of Rinaldi is currently under construction and is planned for a Kaiser Medical Center.

Sustainability Committee

  • Replaced bottled water at our PRNC Board meetings with reusable tumbler mugs that we gave out to our stakeholders with our PRNC logo inserted on the sides. Everyone brings them back to each meeting, and fills them up with fresh, filtered water from our Igloo containers also purchased by PRNC. Sustainable and saves money on bottles of water!
  • Educated stakeholders on illegality and fine for using gas powered leaf blowers per LAMC 112.04. Communicated through Nextdoor and PRNC meetings. PRNC VP Susan Gorman-Chang is member of NCSA Leaf Blower Working Group.
  • Attended educational Workshops and Seminars:
    • A Conversation on Environmental Justice: 12/2/2017
    • SCAQMD Making Sense of Sensors: 9/27 & 9/28/2017
    • GeoHub 101: Leveraging Data for Community Needs 11/15/2017
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The Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council is an organization that is officially certified by the City of Los Angeles to increase our influence with City lawmakers and departments to improve our community.

The PRNC came about as a result of Los Angeles City Charter Reform and interested stakeholders in our community. The Board is elected by stakeholders and holds monthly meetings, usually on the first Wednesday of the month. The agenda is emailed to those who subscribe (see the green box in the upper corner), on our website here and posted at 11280 Corbin Avenue, Northridge, CA 91326 on a bulletin board facing Corbin street.

The Board is comprised of volunteers who want to help you make Porter Ranch a better place to live, work and grow. We can't do it for you, but we can do it with you.

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