SQAQMD SUES SOCALGAS FOR NEGLIGENCE WHILE FAILING TO ACKNOWLEDGE ITS OWN NEGLIGENCE IN PROTECTING ANGELENO FAMILIES FROM DRILLING EMISSIONS
In response to SCAQMD’s suit, STAND-L.A., a coalition of community groups dedicated to protecting public health from neighborhood oil drilling, released the following statement:
“While STAND-L.A. strongly supports efforts to hold SoCal Gas Co. accountable for jeopardizing the health of Porter Ranch residents, it is surprising to hear allegations of negligence come from SCAQMD—an organization that has itself been neglecting the health of our communities for years.
Residents across LA, have struggled with the daily consequences of oil drilling in their neighborhoods for generations. These communities, often low-income and of color, have reported the same symptoms as Porter Ranch—nose bleeds, headaches, asthma and other respiratory illness—but have received inadequate attention from the SCAQMD regulators who are responsible for protecting their health.
In one case, the community surrounding the AllenCo drill site in South L.A. had to become their own regulators, mounting a public education campaign to arm and inform their community against the toxic emissions next door. It was only after they waited three years, staged numerous protests, and filed over 250 complaints that SCAQMD inspectors finally stepped in to take air samples.
The AQMD has also refused to require well operators to provide local notification before they pump tens of thousands of gallons of toxic acid under residents' homes. When families recently asked for 72-hour notice and same day certainty about when these acid jobs would take place so they could move their children out of harm's way, the SCAQMD board instead exempted some acid jobs from any notification and provided just 48-hour online notice with a week of uncertainty for others.
As a regulatory agency charged with safeguarding the health and safety of our communities, the SCAQMD’s double standard is an unacceptable and irresponsible. Their latest actions are proof of the environmental injustice of neighborhood drilling in Los Angeles.”