Porter Ranch residents protest reopening of SoCal Gas facility

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Porter Ranch residents are protesting the state's decision to allow operations to resume at the Southern California Gas Aliso Canyon facility.

The 2015-16 gas leak at the site caused the evacuation of thousands of Porter Ranch residents before it was capped about five months after it was first detected.

Two state agencies recently concluded the facility is safe to reopen and SoCal Gas has been allowed to resume limited injections.

But Los Angeles County attorneys are going to court over that decision. They want the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to perform an earthquake analysis as required by law.

But DOGGR says the study, which would take about six months, can be done after the facility reopens. Los Angeles County supervisors disagree.

Local residents gathered at a busy Porter Ranch intersection south of the facility to hold signs and call public attention to their cause.

"We don't trust Southern California Gas," said Jane Tanger of Porter Ranch. "They didn't have safety valves. They were very negligent before. And they lied to us, they didn't tell us right away when the leak happened."

The company insisted the county is wrong and the facility is safe to reopen, issuing a statement that declared: "The county's outside trial lawyers' claims are baseless and wrong: Aliso Canyon is safe to operate. This is not just our conclusion, but the conclusion of the only state regulators with lawful jurisdiction and expertise to oversee the safety of our operations."
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