SoCal Gas officials grilled during Porter Ranch gas leak hearing

Officials with the Southern California Gas Company and California Public Utilities Commission answer questions at a hearing in Granada Hills on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

Officials with the Southern California Gas Company answered questions about the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak at a hearing in Granada Hills on Thursday.

The hearing was called by State Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who was recently appointed to the committee on utilities and commerce.

Gatto questioned SoCal Gas and the California Public Utilities Commission about the leak as dozens were in attendance at Granada Hills Charter High School.

Several frustrated residents stood at a podium and questioned SoCal Gas' emergency plan and response time to the leak. Many were angered over transparency surrounding chemical reading levels around the area.

"Can't we have some information for people who are still living in the neighborhood?" one resident asked.

One SoCal Gas official referred those in attendance to a website dedicated to updates on the gas leak.

Thousands of people in the Porter Ranch had to be relocated after the gas leak was discovered in October 2015.

The spewing well has since become the largest gas leak in U.S. history and the largest U.S. environmental disaster since the BP gulf oil spill in 2010.

Many residents claim the fumes have made them sick, businesses nearby said they've been negatively impacted and homeowners are worried about their property values.

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is working with lawyers and Porter Ranch residents affected by the leak.

She said residents are mostly upset about the lack of answers they've received from their questions, but also said officials need to construct a plan to prevent future disasters such as this from happening again.

"We have to look at how we got in this position in the first place, and moving forward how we can change this, and begin to look at what changes have to be made," Brockovich said. "Legislatively, through policy, legally, so we don't continue to see these problems."
Related Topics:
newsporter ranch gas leakgas leakgas fumesenvironmentGranada HillsLos Angeles
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