Sherman Criticizes SoCalGas For Defying County Department of Public Health
Porter Ranch, CA – Yesterday, the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) defied a directive from the L.A. County Department of Public Health by announcing that SoCalGas will not clean homes of residents affected by the natural gas leak in Porter Ranch.
Congressman Sherman, whose home is as close as any to the Porter Ranch leak, took to the floor of the House to condemn the actions of SoCalGas. Watch Here: https://youtu.be/DfT29y1zz1U
“SoCalGas is attempting to pass through to Los Angeles area consumers the cost of the gas leak, which resulted from their own negligence,” said Congressman Sherman. “Many of us are working hard to protect consumers. Realizing they may have to bear the cost themselves, SoCalGas has decided to shortchange the residents who have evacuated. They have decided they don’t want to pay for the cleaning protocol that the L.A. County Public Health Department says is necessary to make homes safe.
“When it comes to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, SoCalGas has a process of both relying and defying. They rely on LA County Department of Public Health when they say that Porter Ranch residents can safely return to their homes and should no longer receive relocation assistance. But they defy L.A. County Department of Public Health directive to pay for the cleaning protocol necessary to make Porter Ranch homes safe.”
“SoCalGas is being penny wise and pound foolish. If they continue to refuse to pay for interior decontamination in Porter Ranch homes, some homes will not be decontaminated. Years from now a resident diagnosed with a health problem may sue. The fact that SoCalGas defied the order of County Public Health Officials will someday be put before the jury.”
“SoCalGas has indicated that they will review the Health Department directive further. I urge them to do so, and announce that they will provide the safety cleaning as instructed by the county health department.”
On May 13th, the Department of Public health issued a directive for SoCalGas to “immediately and unconditionally offer, and, if accepted by the resident/homeowner, implement comprehensive cleaning of homes,” that are affected by the leak. On May 15th, SoCalGas responded by saying, “SoCalGas is not offering cleaning…”
Additionally SoCalGas announced their desire to end the temporary relocation program as early as Sunday, May 22nd. Initially Los Angeles Superior Court determined that SoCalGas would be ordered to provide temporary housing through June 7th. A court will decide this issue on Friday, May 20th, 2016.