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SCAQMD Public Meeting on Aliso Canyon Health Study

December 14, 2017

On December 14, 2017, staff of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) held a public meeting at the Porter Ranch Community School to receive input from the community on the scope of the health study planned for assessing the impact of the Aliso Canyon well blowout of October 2015 on the health of residents in the sourrounding communities. The health study will be paid for with funds from a legal settlement between the SCAQMD and the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) related to the well blowout and the abatement order issued by SCAQMD to SoCalGas.

SCAQMD staff began the meeting with a presentation of their general plan for the study, defined two alternative study scopes, and then asked the community to provide input on which of the two they would prefer the study to focus on. A copy of the presentation can be obtained here: SCAQMD Presentation.

SCAQMD acknowledged that the scope of the study is limited because of the limited budget of $1,000,000 alloted to it in the settlement agreement, which has been a highly contentious issue in the community. The majority of the public comments given at the meeting focused on the disparity between the $1M budget and the original budget of $35M to $40M determined by the California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), as well as SCAQMD’s own expert panel convened during the negotiations with SoCalGas. The public impressed on SCAQMD staff that the community deserves an answer to the question of why the SCAQMD settled for such a massive reduction in the budget of the study. The reduction in the study budget was strongly opposed by the PRNC, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACoDPH), and California State Senator, Henry Stern, and that opposition was expressed at the SCAQMD Hearing Board meetings of February 28 and March 2, 2017. Statements given by the PRNC, LaCoDPH, and Senator Stern at those meetings can be found here:

PRNC Comments at February 28, 2017 AQMD Hearing
LaCoDPH Comments at the February 28, 2017 Hearing
PRNC Comments on March 2 on AQMD Hearing
LaCoDPH Comments at the March 3, 2017 Hearing
Senator Stern Comments at the March 3, 2017 Hearing

A description of the health study scope recommended by SCAQMD’s own expert panel is described in the following LaCoDPH document issued in response to the settlement in February 2017:

An Appropriate Health Study for Residents Affected by the Aliso Canyon Gas Release, LaCoDPH, February 2, 2017

SCAQMD staff noted that they will take the questions, suggestions, and ideas presented by members of the public at the meeting and discuss them internally with SCAQMD management and other staff members. SCAQMD will come back to the community in late January 2018 for a second public meeting to discuss any changes in their plans for the health study. The PRNC will let the community know the location and dates of that meeting as soon as we receive the information from SCAQMD.

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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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