Los Angeles, CA – The LA County Fire Department and the LA County Department of Public Health, along with Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) jointly announced today that they will form a unified command structure to manage the response to the Porter Ranch natural gas leak incident.
Unified command is a collective approach to develop strategies to achieve incident objectives and streamline priorities and restrictions. This structure also will enable improved collaboration with state regulatory agencies to expedite the response to the gas leak.
Officials with both county departments began working closely with SoCalGas within days of the detection of the leak in October at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility north of Los Angeles. SoCalGas said it agreed to the command structure as the best way to ensure the safety of the public, on-site employees, contractors and first responders. In addition, the unified structure ensures that all entities are working toward the same goal.
SoCalGas announced earlier this week that a relief well being drilled to intercept the leaking well and stop the leak was ahead of schedule and could reach its objective by the end of February, if not sooner.
The unified command structure will be based at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon facility.
Meanwhile, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has completed an assessment of six weeks of air samples taken from areas around the Aliso Canyon storage facility, and their results state that “available Porter Ranch neighborhood air sample data does not indicate that an acute toxicity health hazard exists in the Porter Ranch neighborhood as a result of the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak”.