Porter Ranch Cleanup Expands to Additional Parks and Playgrounds

park closed
Photo courtesy: LA Times

LOS ANGELES – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced in a press release over the weekend that its exterior cleaning program to address community concerns about brown spots believed to be related to the onceleaking well at its Aliso Canyon storage facility will be extended to include public parks near the facility.

The gates to Holleigh Bernson Memorial Park were closed and yellow tape strung to keep the public away until SoCalGas crews could scrub away an oily residue found on playground equipment.

Additional assessments and cleaning are planned at Palisades Park (Tampa Ave. & Braemore Rd.), Viking Park (Viking Ave & Nau Ave.), and Porter Ridge Park (Sesnon Blvd. & Beaufait Ave.)

The company announced that assessments and cleaning at 140 homes where brown spots have been reported will begin this week. Spots have generally been reported on outside surfaces. However, the company will also assess reports of residue on surfaces inside homes. Sampling results reviewed by both a toxicologist and a medical expert suggest that the residue does not pose a health risk.

SoCalGas said the company is providing cleaning services for residents or reimbursing residents who have already had the residue cleaned.

According to the release: “Extensive and continued testing and analysis by health and air quality experts, including the County, show that the air in the community has completely returned to normal. The majority of residents never left Porter Ranch and many others who were once relocated have returned home.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has received more than 700 illness complaints, including headaches, upset stomachs and respiratory issues, during the leak. Health officials blamed mercaptans, an odorant added to the methane, for those symptoms.