On the Fifth Anniversary of the Disaster Congressman Sherman Continues to Call for Closing the Aliso Canyon Facility
Sherman Oaks, CA – On the fifth anniversary of the Aliso Canyon gas blowout, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) continues to push for the closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility and to ensure that SoCal Gas is held responsible for their actions.
“We need a plan to close the Aliso Canyon facility now,” Sherman urged. “We cannot wait another 7 to 15 years.”
The 2015 blowout resulted in the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history. Efforts to cap the well lasted for several months. A toxic mix of chemicals was released into the area, including more than 100,000 tons of methane, severely impacting residents in the northern Los Angeles community of Porter Ranch and surrounding areas
“Five years have passed, and countless families continue to report serious health effects from the blowout.” Sherman argued. “There has been ample time for SoCal Gas and the California Public Utilities Commission to provide a plan for the immediate closure of the natural gas facility at Aliso Canyon.”
As a result of the blowout, more than 8,000 families were displaced from their homes and forced to relocate. Two schools in the area were closed for the duration of the school year.
“We know from the Aliso Canyon root cause analysis that the blowout was the result of negligence, and the company must take full responsibility for the costs of this disaster,” said Sherman. “And, we know that the facility remains an unacceptable risk to the community.”
Last year, one of the many wildfires that have raged across California, the Saddleridge fire, reached the Aliso Canyon natural gas facility property again underscoring the serious concerns regarding the site. Thousands of residents were again forced last year to leave their homes, under the 2019 mandatory evacuation order.
Background: Sherman’s home was as close as any residence to the Aliso Canyon gas blowout. For nearly four months, the northern Los Angeles community of Porter Ranch suffered from the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history. An estimated 7,000 to more than 8,000 families were displaced from their homes and forced to relocate. Two schools in the area were closed for the duration of the school year, and thousands experienced health symptoms.