LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced a series of new measures designed to better assist communities that have been impacted by the natural gas leak at its Aliso Canyon Storage facility.
"As we continue our relentless focus on stopping the leak, we are always looking for ways to mitigate the impact on our community," said Gillian Wright, SoCalGas vice president of Customer Services. "In addition to providing temporary housing accommodations to any Porter Ranch household who requests it, we have increased and simplified the relocation package, expanded our community resource center and updated our dedicated website as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to supporting our neighbors during this unfortunate situation."
Relocation Package Enhancements
Effective Jan. 2, 2016, SoCalGas has eliminated the requirement for eligible temporarily relocated residents to submit receipts for reimbursement of food-related expenses. In addition, the company has increased and simplified the daily meal reimbursement amount to $45 per day per person, regardless of age. For more details, visit AlisoUpdates.com.
The relocation package provided by SoCalGas consists of the following:
- Monthly housing allowance
- For those staying in hotels without a full kitchen, daily payment for meals in the amount of $45 per day per person, regardless of age
- Mileage reimbursement at the IRS-approved rate for extra mileage incurred in commuting to work or transporting children to school
SoCalGas is evaluating a variety of ways to streamline its reimbursement process, including a pre-paid spending card, and expects to announce further details within the next seven days.
New Dedicated Customer Service Number
For Porter Ranch residents seeking relocation information, SoCalGas has established a new dedicated toll-free relocation call center, 877-238-9555. This call center will expedite placing customers who wish to relocate and is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Expanded Community Resource Center
SoCalGas also today announced the expansion of its Community Resource Center (CRC) to an adjacent storefront next to its location in the Porter Ranch Town Center at 19731 Rinaldi St. Porter Ranch. The company is also increasing staff at the CRC to more efficiently handle claims, relocation requests and home air purification requests. The Center's hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
On-Site Environmental Health Expert
Dr. Mary McDaniel, board-certified in occupational and environmental medicine, is now available for consultations at the CRC where she can provide expert advice on health concerns related to the natural gas leak from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.
Free Plug-In Air Purification
For residents remaining in Porter Ranch, SoCalGas is also providing free plug-in air purifiers that contain activated carbon, which is effective at removing the natural gas odorant from residents' homes. To sign up for installation or to receive free plug-in air purifiers, residents can call SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon hotline at 818-435-7707 or email AlisoCanyon@socalgas.com. Alternatively, SoCalGas will provide free whole-house air purification through a licensed Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractor. The HVAC contractor will replace the standard air filter(s) in residents' HVAC systems with a specially designed activated carbon filter. These filters remove the compounds found in natural gas and its odorant from the air in homes.
SoCalGas also unveiled enhancements to its dedicated website AlisoUpdates.com. The site is now easier to navigate and also organized by topics of primary interest to residents, from relocation to health and environment information, to the company's progress in stopping the leak.
About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.4 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. Southern California Gas Co. is a regulated subsidiary of sempra.com (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.