SoCal Gas can stop paying for Porter Ranch residents' relocation fees within next week

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A judge ruled that the Southern California Gas Company can end paying for Porter Ranch residents' relocation fees by the end of next week. (KABC)

It's been one month since the Southern California Gas Company officially capped its leaking gas well at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.

More than 3,000 residents moved out and their lodging bill was picked up by SoCal Gas. But on Friday, a Los Angeles County judge said the company can end those benefits next Friday.

Attorney Jim Frantz represents about 2,800 of those residents affected by the gas company's facility gas leak. The extension through Friday may be four days longer than what the company had offered, but L.A. County was seeking nearly two more months of relief for displaced homeowners.

"We got more time for the residents to investigate their property, to determine if there's contaminants in there. They have next week and then do any cleaning that's necessary before they get in there," he said.

In a written statement, SoCal Gas said, "We hope that today's court decision will help provide additional certainty and assurance to the residents of Porter Ranch."

Frantz said the county may file an appeal early next week in the hopes of extending benefits even longer.

Until then, some residents said it's time to wrap up the program.

Susan Steele lives near the gas storage facility and said many residents who have fled for relocation benefits are just trying to capitalize on the gas leak. She said too many people she knew were trying to take advantage of it.
Related Topics:
porter ranch gas leakgas leakgas fumesmoneyhomeownersenvironmentPorter RanchLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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