Porter Ranch residents demand closure of Aliso Canyon facility during public hearing

WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Porter Ranch residents crowded a public hearing in Woodland Hills Wednesday night, demanding the closure of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility following the biggest gas leak in U.S. history last year.

Residents even stormed the stage and took over during the meeting, which was hosted by the California Department of Conservation.

"We rearranged the agenda for what the community needs and deserves to call out the health crisis that is going on here," said Matt Pakucko, with the group Save Porter Ranch.

SoCalGas wants to reopen the facility despite the massive leak of methane gas that lasted four months last year, causing residents to fall ill and flee their homes.

"How do you expect a community to sleep at night? By the way, they are still suffering health effects," L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said.

Not everyone was against the reopening. Two representatives of local business interests spoke despite being heavily booed. The meeting was abruptly ended after the second speaker was booed.

The meeting was scheduled to last a little more than three hours, but ended after less than two. A second hearing is scheduled Thursday night.
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