Porter Ranch Residents Ask Governor to Keep SoCalGas Facility Closed

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SACRAMENTO -- A group of residents and activists rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday to ask the governor to shut down a natural gas facility in Southern California.

They said life at Porter Ranch in Los Angeles County, or "Methane Mountain" as they now call it, is like dying a slow death.

"We have dead dogs, old people really sick, kids with breathing problems. It's still going on. And that place is shut down," said Matt Pakuko, president of the group Save Porter Ranch.

After it was first discovered in October 2015, it took crews four months to stop a leak at SoCalGas, the natural gas field that sits above Porter Ranch.

After spewing out 100,000 tons of methane gas, it became the largest natural gas leak in American history.

Thousands of people left their homes complaining of stomachaches and nosebleeds.

Porter Ranch resident Wajma Ahmady said her otherwise healthy mother, started wheezing.

"It quickly accelerated to bronchitis, pneumonia. And had to take weeks off from work," Ahamdy said.

Now, assuring the public everything has been fixed, SoCalGas wants to reopen their Aliso Canyon Storage Facility.

Residents who traveled to Sacramento on Wednesday met with the governor's staff, hoping that will not happen.

"What does Jerry Brown want? Does he literally want stacks of dead bodies before he'll take action on this?" Ahmady asked.

They are praying Gov. Jerry Brown will use his executive power to keep Aliso Canyon closed forever, and act on his promise to make California the cleanest energy state in the country.

"Take out the biggest health and environmental hazard there is in the state and you'll have a legacy. You leave that place on-line, you have another disaster, and you better hope it's after your term," Pakuko said.

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