PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — Upwards of 150 Porter Ranch residents met with a powerful legal firm Sunday in a meeting to discuss if, or how, they could bring legal pressure to bear on SoCalGas and Sempra Energy.
A leak of methane in the area about eight weeks ago, has disrupted lives, relocated two schools and caused a rash of illnesses in some residents. Many reported nausea, nosebleeds, headaches.
KCAL9’s Jennifer Kastner attended the meeting between residents and the Frantz Law Group.
SoCalGas said it might take as much as four more months to repair the leak.
Frantz Law Group is just one firm looking to represent the possible thousands of homeowners affected by the leak.
“They have won a number of cases and that impresses me,” said resident Leonard Roth.
“I’ve had a lot of fatigue and I’m using an inhaler now which I haven’t used in four years,” said Luanne Markowitz.
Matt Pakucko, president of “Save Porter Ranch,” is also leading the fight against Hidden Creek Estates — a proposed development of new homes that would eventually be built in the Porter Ranch community.
Pakucko says the city of Los Angeles keeps approving permits for the project even though the LA County Supervisors have formally declared a state of emergency and people are relocating from the area.
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“Porter Ranch and the gas company cannot handle this current problem with the current residents that we have, then how are we going to handle another huge development when the next problem comes around?,” Pakucko said.
Residents, Kastner reported, are still widely circulating a disturbing infrared video that purports to show the extent of the methane leak. To see the video, click here.
Kastner reached out to the City Councilman whose been working closely with the new development project to find out why it was still moving forward for now, but did not hear back.