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 December 8, 2015 - 3:36 PM EST
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Ominous Methane Cloud Looms Over Porter Ranch

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Experts to Address Impact at Community Meeting Tonight

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 08, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Disturbing new video shot with a highly specialized Optical Gas Imaging camera on Monday night (December 7) reveals an ominous cloud of methane gas hovering over the community of  Porter Ranch following the Southern California Gas Company’s leak which was discovered in October, said attorney R. Rex. Parris. A class action complaint names Sempra Energy and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) as defendants and alleges that SoCalGas gas has been injecting gas underground into illegally permitted wells.

The chilling video, along with a panel of experts, will be presented to residents today at a community meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills. This meeting is intended to offer residents affected by the ongoing gas leak the opportunity to ask questions to independent environmental experts and city officials. Local residents seeking to have their many questions answered are encouraged to attend.

“This video looks like something out of a science-fiction horror movie,” said Brian Panish. “It's blatantly apparent SoCalGas has not lived up to their promise to deliver clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers. Instead, they've exposed them to potentially harmful levels of methane and varying amounts of other gases, to what extent we're still investigating.”

Environmental lawyer and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be one of several speakers in attendance to address residents' concerns and offer strategies on how best to engage the government in hopes of bringing an expedited end to this ongoing environmental nightmare.

“Kennedy, along with Attorneys Brian Panish and R. Rex. Parris filed an 85 page class action lawsuit last week on behalf of dozens of plaintiffs and Save Porter Ranch who have been deeply impacted by the illegal gas storage well leaking in Aliso Canyon. The unprecedented leak has unleashed an continuous flow of gases including methane, mercaptans, and aromatic hydrocarbons. The California Air Resource Board estimates the amount of methane being released from the faulty injection well is upwards of 50,000 kilograms per hour, potentially accounting for one-quarter of California’s total methane emissions every day the leak continues,” said Parris.

Paul Rosenfeld, PhD, Co-Founder and Principal Environmental Chemist at SWAPE (Soil/Water/Air Protection Enterprise), has over 20 years of experience conducting risk assessments and developing cleanup programs for sites containing airborne contaminants.

Having reviewed sampling data collected and recently released by SoCalGas, Dr. Rosenfeld will speak to residents about his findings that determined excess levels of serious contaminants, such as hydrogen sulfide, that continue to be disbursed into the community. Porter Ranch Estates and Porter Ranch Community School have shown the highest level of contamination.

“Let there be no mistake about the impact this leak is having on the community of Porter Ranch. 700 families have had to relocate during this holiday season and over 1,000 remain on a waiting list. Children and adults suffer from regular nosebleeds, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Residents are afraid to open their windows, forced to perpetually run their air conditioners, and are finding oily residue in their swimming pools,” added Parris. "The families in this community live here because it is supposed to be safe, and now it is not. They have a right to live without toxic poisoning of their neighborhood.”

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitchell Englander will so be on hand to speak on the effects the gas leak is having in his district. The District 12 representative and San Fernando Valley native will be joined by former state regulators who will explain how federal and state laws are being violated and will shed sobering light on how the danger to the hard working families in Porter Ranch is not over, even after this leak is plugged.

“The massive uncontrolled gas leak is expected to cost Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) shareholders over $1 billion dollars," said Parris, who will discuss litigation strategies at the community meeting. "Sempra and SoCalGas must be held accountable for their negligence.”

Editors Note:

The community meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Odyssey Restaurant located at 15600 Odyssey Drive, Granada Hills, CA 91344. For more information and to view the video, 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 for a man who suffered severe burn and traumatic brain injuries when his rental home exploded as a result of 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 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.  Rex and his dedicated team provide thorough, high-quality representation with integrity and compassion.  These lawyers fight aggressively against corporate defense attorneys and insurance companies to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. For more information, visit rrexparris.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 

Media Contacts: 
Angela Bailey (909) 286-4040 or bailey@psblaw.com  
Dante Hickles (661) 949-2595 or dhickles@rrexparris.com

Source: GlobeNewswire (December 8, 2015 - 3:36 PM EST)

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