Displaced Residents Call on Governor to Visit Gas Well Blowout on 2nd Month Anniversary
Uncontrolled Well Blowout Fills Neighborhood With Noxious Gases
Methane Emitting Hourly From Site Could Generate Electric Power for 41,727 Homes Daily
PORTER RANCH, Calif., Dec. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Since October 23, 2015 more than 30,000 residents of Porter Ranch have been subjected to massive gas and chemical pollution 24 hours a day. Today, displaced residents Christine and Brian Katz marked the two-month anniversary of the gas storage well failure at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field owned by SoCalGas and Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) by calling on the Governor to visit the site. They also call on the Governor to declare a state of emergency.
Christine Katz and her husband Brian started an online petition demanding that the governor make this declaration so that residents can gain compensation and provisions to help them combat the detrimental effects of the gas well blowout.
The Katz family has been forced out of their home during the holidays. The County had ordered SoCalGas to provide housing for families suffering from exposure to the gas, but SoCalGas offered the Katz a hotel room with inferior accommodations for her family of 7 and told the Katz their pets would have to go to a kennel to escape the adverse health risks created by this continuing environmental nightmare.
“The unprecedented blowout has unleashed an uninterrupted flow of gases. The noxious gases include methane, methyl mercaptan, and aromatic hydrocarbons which have sickened thousands of families in Porter Ranch. SoCalGas’s blowout has also sent natural gas mixed with various other chemicals including benzene, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, into the air throughout the Porter Ranch community. Over 4,000 residents have requested temporary relocation due to the well blowout,” said environmentalist lawyer and activist Robert Kennedy Jr., who has joined attorneys Brian Panish and the R. Rex Parris Law Firm in a lawsuit on behalf of the Katz family.
Among other things, a declaration of an emergency may allow local residents to seek emergency relief on mortgage payments and allow local authorities to obtain additional resources to help the over 3,500 families fleeing the disaster area as a result of this public health emergency. Declaring a state of emergency provides local governments with the powers necessary to coordinate and implement plans aimed at protecting people and property during a disaster.
“As of the two-month mark, there is no end in sight, and Porter Ranch families continue to breathe toxic gases. It is outrageous that SoCalGas has been unable to fix the problem and unable to provide comparable housing as thousands of families evacuate from their homes during the holidays. I am also shocked that Governor Jerry Brown has not visited the disaster site or declared a State of Emergency to bring immediate financial relief from the ongoing environmental disaster. If it’s safe to live here, why doesn’t Brown take up residence in Porter Ranch? I truly hope that the Governor’s inaction is not due to his sister Kathleen Brown being on the Board of Sempra which owns SoCalGas,” said Christine Katz.
“SoCalGas has failed miserably to relocate families, address medical needs, or compensate them for their financial losses as a result of SoCalGas’ negligence. We have entire families experiencing severe health issues as a result of the leak. We have evidence that shows that the toxic gases are harmful to people, contrary to what SoCalGas claims. The problem cannot be solved by local government alone. We need the entire state of California, including the state and federal agencies and the governor’s office to assist and support local officials who are on the forefront in dealing with this crisis,” said attorney said R. Rex Parris.
“It is not only the methane that is the problem, other dangerous chemicals are being pumped into the atmosphere raising the risk of long-term, extremely serious health consequences for the people of Porter Ranch,” according to attorney Brian Panish.
“The SoCalGas well blowout’s hourly methane gas emissions are enough to generate electricity for 41,727 homes for a day,” said R. Rex Parris, who has called on shareholders and not ratepayers to pay for the disaster. “Sempra and SoCalGas must be held accountable for their negligence.”
For more information and to view the massive amount of poisonous gas being emitted by the shocking and unprecedented well failure, visit www.porterranchlawsuit.com.
About Kennedy & Madonna Kennedy & Madonna, LLP is an environmental law firm that specializes in representing communities that have been impacted by pollution. The firm uses a variety of legal tools including federal citizen suits, administrative challenges and tort law to hold polluters accountable for their actions. The firm was formed in 2000 by founding partners Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Kevin J. Madonna. For more information, visit www.kennedymadonna.com
About Panish Shea & Boyle LLP Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is a plaintiff's personal injury law firm that takes on large corporations and government entities whose negligence causes our clients' injuries, and holds them accountable. In June 2014, Panish Shea & Boyle obtained at $19.8 million jury verdict to a man who suffered severe burn and traumatic brain injuries when his rental home exploded as a result of a Southern California Gas Company's negligence. In 2008, the firm obtained a $15 million jury verdict against SoCalGas for a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a company truck. Panish Shea & Boyle LLP also represented numerous plaintiffs in the San Bruno PG&E gas explosion cases. Our attorneys are and have always been champions of consumer rights. The size, clout or financial strength of wrongdoers is never a deterrent to our pursuit for justice. For more information, visit www.psblaw.com
About the Law Firm of Morgan & Morgan Morgan & Morgan is one of the largest exclusively plaintiffs' law firms in the US, with 25 offices throughout Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York. The firm handles cases nationally and has been a leader in cases such as the BP Oil spill and Chinese Drywall litigation. We have over 300 lawyers with years of experience involving personal injury, medical malpractice, consumer class action, and securities fraud--as well as complex litigation against drug and medical device manufacturers. For more information, visit www.forthepeople.com
About The R. Rex Parris Law Firm For over 30 years, R. Rex Parris has devoted his practice to protecting the rights of injured people and aggrieved workers. With over $1.1 Billion recovered on behalf of clients, Rex and his dedicated team has the experience and track record necessary to help families in need. The R. Rex Parris Law Firm provides thorough, high-quality representation with integrity and compassion. These lawyers fight aggressively to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. For more information, visit www.rrexparris.com.
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