Oily Residue From Gas Leak Coats Porter Ranch Homes

PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — Some families returning to Porter Ranch following the methane gas leak are finding goopy residue coating their homes inside and out.

Daisy Weinberg’s home is covered in brownish droplets. “It’s really hard to see but when you touch it, it’s a little oily and some little black spots, and there was a smell inside the house. But we already cleaned and we put some Febreze try to get rid of the smell.”

“The Southern California Gas Company needs to be responsible for this and needs to clean this up when it’s found in people’s properties,” said Cynthia Harding, the interim director of the Department of Public Health. She said being around the petroleum component doesn’t pose any health hazards, but touching it can cause a rash.

The tweet included a link telling people to avoid suspicious growth in gardens and not to eat anything with those brownish spots. It is just another blow to Porter Ranch residents like Weinberg and her family who are still living in rentals.

“We still don’t feel safe to come back. We have to really clean the house, and we’re thinking of getting new drapes. All the clothes that we have inside the closet we don’t use we’re also going to throw them away,” Weinberg said.

“There’s no place like home. So living outside in a hotel for months and not being able to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas at home was tough,” said Evelyn Navarro.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich said: “They (SoCal Gas) have been the most irresponsible quasi-public agency that I have ever encountered. It’s just one road block after the other.”

In a statement, SoCalGas spokesperson Chris Gilbride said: “According to the Los Angeles Department of Health, ‘the presence of these spots poses minimal health risk, but residents should avoid touching these spots, as they may cause skin irritation, and they should avoid eating garden-grown fruits and vegetables with visible spots’.

“SoCalGas has analyzed several spot samples for hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the levels detected do not raise health concerns,” the statement added.

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