PORTER RANCH (CBSLA) — Some residents of Porter Ranch say they’re still getting sick more than two years after the Aliso Canyon gas leak.
Investigative Reporter David Goldstein has learned that even the county health department is unsure what’s going on.
Here is a full script of his investigation:
“Do you believe the people who live around there are safe?”
“Hard to say.”
“Safety is a unanswered question at this point.”
Angelo Bellomo with LA County Health says he can’t reassure Porter Ranch residents they’re safe. Now more than two years after the Aliso Canyon gas leak. The SoCal Gas storage facility spewed methane gas and other chemicals into the air for four months.
“We have our ongoing concerns about ongoing risks at that facility.”
And some nearby residents say they’re still suffering.
“I’ve had terrible rashes and recurring rashes.”
They described their ailments.
“Big blob of blood coming out from my nose coming inside of my throat.”
This is just in the past month.
“I had severe stomach problems.”
And there could be a correlation to the gas facility. This graph shows monitoring of methane gas near the site went up in April. And that’s when some people got sick.
“You can report your own symptoms.”
Andrew Krowne spent $20,000 of his own money to create this app where locals, including himself, report what they believe are symptoms associated with ongoing gas leaks.
“I have a headache right now, so it’s a current report, and you see on the map it shows me right were I am.”
For five consecutive days in April, the same days the methane monitoring spiked, his app showed more than 1,500 reported symptoms, the most since he created it last October.
“Something is very suspicious.”
We showed the app results to Nachman Brautbar, a noted toxicologist. He says it’s worthy of a public health investigation.
“We have here some kind of a cluster in an area that was subject to natural gas, so I’d be suspicious.”
Bellomo admits they don’t know what’s coming from the facility, because no nearby monitors measure chemicals other than methane.
There may be a lot of other chemicals coming from the field that are causing the symptoms.
Bellomo says county air monitors need to be placed close to the wells, but doesn’t believe SoCal Gas will allow it.
“Are they being good neighbor up there?”
It depends on who you talk to.
In your opinion.
“No, I think that’s obvious.”
In a statement, SoCal Gas called the recent reported ailments by residents “a misinformation campaign from a small group.”
Adding: “Nothing is going on, and we’ve not had leaks.”
But residents say it’s not just the gas company but local and state government that aren’t helping.
Where’s someone saying not to do anything about this health disaster? Who’s pulling the strings?
“These are the people who are supposed to protect us. They’re here to watch over us.”
“So in the two years you still and the department still doesn’t have the monitoring in place that you would like?”
To ensure the safety of these people?
“Residents want to know what’s happening to them right now. and what happened to them during the blow out.”
A panel of health experts recommended a $35 million health study.
But this regulatory agency, the South Coast Air Quality Management District board, designated only $1 million to be used for a study.
“Is that enough money?”
All of it leaves some Porter Ranch residents with even more questions and doubts about what regulators and county health are doing.
“What agenda are they working on? Who are they aligned with?”
“The only thing you can conclude is that you just are all by yourself.”
STATEMENT FROM SOCAL GAS:
“During the leak and for months afterwards, thousands of air, soil, and dust samples were tested by multiple public health agencies, including the Los Angeles County Department of Health, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Air Resources Board, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. All of the data collected and analyzed by public health officials over the last two years have shown that there was and is no long-term risk to public health or safety from the gas leak. These results were shared with members of the public.“ SoCal Gas has been, and will continue to be, responsive to requests from public health officials for information about materials and chemicals used in our operations.”
Office of Media and Public Information
Southern California Gas Company