PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — Concerned parents in Porter Ranch have launched an online petition asking LAUSD to move their children from two area schools where students say they have suffered from nausea, nosebleeds and hives after a natural gas leak was detected in a nearby oil field seven weeks ago.
“We would appreciate if the LAUSD acted out of an abundance of caution and shut the schools down,” parent Christine Soderland said. “Relocate us to some other place that is safe.”
Many parents and children at Porter Ranch Community School and Castle Bay Lane Charter Elementary said their children have developed troubling health problems since the leak in a SoCal Gas well was discovered in October.
“It does give me headaches, and I feel dizzy during school,” student Joseph Kim said.
Some students, such as Grace Hill, have needed to stay home as they could not concentrate at school.
Plenty of parents are still taking their children to school, but many said they would prefer to take them to other schools farther from the leak.
LAUSD said in a statement that it continues to monitor the air and has worked with families who have relocated due to the gas leak.
SoCal Gas has already provided assistance for hundreds of people to temporarily relocate due to the leak. As many as 1,000 more people are now applying for relocation.
The utility has begun drilling a relief well that is expected to allow them to permanently close the leak, but that process could take two-to-three months.
On Tuesday, attorneys representing Porter Ranch residents released an infrared video that they say shows a cloud of harmful gas above the community.
Environmental attorney and activist Erin Brockovich was expected to address a large crowd of concerned residents on Wednesday night.
Check back for updates.