PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — Residents in one San Fernando Valley neighborhood are calling for more transparency and better oversight for proposed oil drilling expansion near their homes.
More than 20 members of Save Porter Ranch and Food & Water Watch asked the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for twelve new oil wells proposed by the Termo Company near Porter Ranch.READ MORE: No-Burn Order Extended For 8th Consecutive Day
Their demands included calls for Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who represents Porter Ranch, to stand with them “in order to protect the health and well-being of Porter Ranch residents and the greater San Fernando Valley community.”
Residents also testified during the Supervisors’ public comment period and delivered over 1,000 petition signatures and letters from Porter Ranch residents demanding an EIR over alleged attempts by Termo to “sidestep” the review process, the group claimed.
Termo officials revealed in April the company had extracted oil in Aliso Canyon using so-called “fracking” methods along with plans to drill twelve new wells into the shale formation, according to protesters.
Opponents say the wells will be located in in a high-risk fire zone, near homes, schools and the L.A. River, and along the Santa Susana Fault, considered among the most volatile in the San Fernando Valley.READ MORE: Jacqueline Avant Memorial Fund To Benefit New MLK Children's Center In Watts
“As a parent, it’s environment, absolutely,” Laurie Kalman, a resident, told KCAL9’s Randy Paige. “We are uphill from a major metropolitan area and I don’t know what’s going on underneath.”
The Termo Oil Company told CBS2 that no one was available to comment Monday.
However, in a statement, Termo spokesman Ralph Combs said: “We have operated our portion of the Aliso Oil Field for 25 years without incident or complaint from Porter Ranch residents, the vast majority of whom did not even know we existed until we reached out to community members about our new project.”
“Our proposed expansion of operations is over a mile and a half from any residents. We are maximizing the use of existing infrastructure and already disturbed areas so that we will have minimal impact on the environment,” the statement added.
The Aliso Canyon Oil Field has been in continuous operation since it was discovered in 1938, according to Combs.MORE NEWS: CHiPs For Kids Toy Drive Kicks Off For 2021
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Antonovich would support the proposal. In July, a spokesman for Antonovich told the L.A. Daily News it was “too early” to determine how the Supervisor would act.