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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Receive Assistance from SoCalGas

  

Jan 20, 2016
Press Release

Below you will find information on how you may qualify for assistance from SoCalGas, as well as my efforts to address the leak and improve safety

How We Can Help:

If you live near the natural gas leak in Porter Ranch, you may be eligible for assistance. SoCalGas is providing residents affected by the leak with the following services:

  • Air Purification and Weatherization
  • Relocation and Expense Reimbursement
  • School Transportation
  • Claims for harm or injury as a result of this incident

According to SoCalGas, those residents inside a five-mile radius of the gas leak may be eligible for assistance, and those outside the five-mile radius are eligible for help on a case by case basis. To apply for help, go to https://www.alisoupdates.com/need-assistance or call 818-435-7707 between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekends. You can also go to the SoCalGas Community Resource Center (CRC) located at the Porter Ranch Town Center at 19731 Rinaldi Street, Northridge, CA 91326. SoCalGas representatives can answer any questions relating to Aliso Canyon, such as relocation and claims information and general information inquiries.

If you experience any issues in dealing with SoCalGas please feel free to call my Sherman Oaks office at (818) 501-9200 or email me at Brad.Sherman@mail.house.gov

SoCalGas will provide help to those living within five miles of leaking well SS25 -- See map below.


More detailed map here:
PDF iconPorter Ranch Map.pdf

Was Your Business Affected?

Following urging from Congressman Brad Sherman, the Small Business Administration (SBA) made businesses near Porter Ranch eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The SBA can now provide loans on favorable terms to businesses that incurred economic losses as a result of the leak. These unsecured loans may have terms up to 30 years, with interest rates below 4 percent, designed to cover operational expenses. If you believe your business was impacted by the Porter Ranch gas leak please contact John Alford in Congressman Sherman’s office at (818) 501-9200. This may include individuals who work from home and opted to evacuate or individuals who lost revenue because they were unable to rent their property due to the leak.

Sherman’s Actions on the Porter Ranch Gas Leak

Since the leak began in October 2015, I have worked to find the most effective way to stop the leak, and implement new safety measures. Initially, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the leading federal agency, did not think that they should get involved. They cited regulations claiming they had no jurisdiction in this area. My office did the legal research and found a statute that did in fact give them jurisdiction. Since late last year, the EPA has been involved both to provide technical assistance from the federal level and hopefully to learn from this incident about how to better protect the public health and environment.

Additionally, at my urging and the urging of many others, Governor Brown has issued an emergency declaration. The chief effect of which is to give the state agencies the power to order people to do what needs to be done.

SoCalGas is digging a relief well and estimates that the gas leak will be resolved by late February. This time frame is unacceptable. I have recommended that SoCalGas maximize the withdrawal of gas to reduce pressure in the gas well. Extraction should not be limited to how much SoCalGas can sell. I have also urged Governor Brown to exercise his authority to ensure this is done. SoCalGas is reluctant to do this because they continue to regard the gas in the Aliso Canyon storage facility as an asset. For the people of Porter Ranch the natural gas is not an asset, it is a toxin.

Learn more about Congressman Sherman's eforts on the Porter Ranch Gas Leak HERE

Solutions for the Future:

In this country the federal government has a natural gas transmission integrity protocol. We do not have an equally sophisticated natural gas storage protocol. And what this incident has proven is that natural gas and the mercaptan that is added to it and the volatile organic compounds that are traced in parts of it; collectively that’s a toxin. And it’s not just a matter of worrying about what might explode.

We have to also worry about the effects this has on the human respiratory system. And that’s why we need to have a nationwide system that requires modern subsurface safety valves that are activated if there’s an earthquake or any other disturbance. We need to see the same level of sophistication used in dealing with a storage facility as we use for the transmission pipes. Along with my colleagues I plan to introduce and help pass legislation that will help better regulate the storage of natural gas.


(From left) Shawn Bayliss, staffer for LA City Councilman Paul Koretz, Congressman Brad Sherman, and Rodger Schwecke, acting Deputy Operations Chief of SoCalGas, tour the leaking gas facility in Porter Ranch.


Congressman Brad Sherman and Councilman Mitch Englander stand in front of the relief well at the Aliso Canyon storage facility discussing the gas leak.