PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — Residents in Porter Ranch remain unclear as to the fate of many aging underground wells.
This after Congressman Brad Sherman announced that Southern California Gas committed to killing 18 wells at the Aliso Canyon storage facility.READ MORE: Rain, Hail Fall On Parts Of Orange County
Sherman said he was told by the governor’s office that the 60-year-old wells would be permanently shut down, giving optimism to many folks who relocated their homes.
“They really shouldn’t be in use so that was really good news for us,” said Susan Gorman-Chang, a Porter Ranch resident.
But not so fast.
“It is not correct that SoCalGas has committed to permanently shutting down the 18 wells in question. These wells, however, have been identified as the top priority for inspection. To conduct such inspections, it is necessary to install temporary plugs to prevent the flow of gas,” a spokesperson for SoCalGas said in a statement.READ MORE: Crews Working To Contain Brush Fire Burning In Whittier Narrows Area
Matt Pakucko, the president of the community-activist group Save Porter Ranch, says he’s not surprised SoCalGas has not committed to any permanent well closures.
“I don’t have any faith in anything the company says,” Pakucko said. “Do I trust them? No. Does this community trust them? No.”
A South Coast Air Quality Management District panel recently ordered the leaking well to be permanently shut down.
But despite the confusion regarding the 18 other wells, many residents still feel progress is being made.
“I think it’s going to wake us up and we’re going to move in a big way towards at least solar for sure,” said Gorman-Chang.MORE NEWS: CDC Reverses Advisory Panel Recommendation, Includes High-Risk Workers In Booster Shot Eligibility
Meanwhile, the California Public Utilities Commission is now studying the effects of permanently shutting down the site of the gas leak and is looking at possible short-term and long-term options.