Expectant Porter Ranch mother and realtor Danielle Rabadi speaks to members of the press outside the Santa Clarita Courthouse following a Tuesday morning court hearing. Austin Dave/The Signal
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Over a year has passed and there has yet to be a health study conducted for the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, so Assemblyman Dante Acosta is trying to speed up the process.

According to an announcement from Acosta’s office on Tuesday, the assemblyman put in a request to the budget committee to triple the money already designated to conduct the study in Porter Ranch.

Acosta’s proposal does not require new spending, but the reallocation of $2 million in already existing funds from the Air Pollution Control Fund. Currently, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has settled on $1 million in funding for the study with SoCalGas, which would not be enough to conduct the study on its own, according to the announcement.

Porter Ranch resident Maureen Capra speaks to members of the press after a court hearing in Santa Clarita in November. Austin Dave/The Signal

“$2 million was a number that in conversations with my colleagues in the assembly seemed like it is a possible amount to have approved in the budget process,” Acosta said in a statement to The Signal. “We know that this study will take significant time and expense, so this is more of a first step, but it is important to make sure the Air Quality Management District has the resources it needs to start this study right away.”

According to Acosta, this is a matter of public safety, which includes community health in regard to clean air and safe drinking water.

“My number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of my community,” Acosta said in the announcement. “The people of Porter Ranch have a right to an extensive health study and my budget request for critical funding reflects that.”

It is important for residents of the district to know what the long term effects of the gas leak are, particularly in Porter Ranch, said Acosta. The assemblyman said the study is needed to provide residents with security and answers to their questions.

Acosta said the study will take time, but he encourages the South Coast Air Quality Management District to be transparent and prompt in keeping residents up to date in regard to the study’s costs and timelines.

The duration of the study has not yet been provided to Acosta’s office by the Air Quality Management District.

In alignment with Senator Henry Stern’s Senate Bill 57, the facility will not reopen until the analysis is complete. This will help determine why the leak happened and make officials aware in case similar occurrences were to happen in the district, such as in the Honor Rancho Oil Field in Santa Clarita, Acosta’s office said.

On Twitter as @ginaender


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Gina Ender
Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017.
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  • pattie541

    Thanks to the Assemblyman for getting this going. But. that’s still way under what is needed. A panel of health experts that met in October have stated the needed study would cost a minimum of 40 million dollars as the blowout adversely affected the health of residents in Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Northridge, and Granada Hills. SoCalGas caused this disaster through its negligence and should be on the hook for conducting a valid study (as was determined by that panel).
    In addition, the gas company needs to release a comprehensive list of all materials used in its wells over the years, as we residents (and our doctors) are concerned about what toxic chemicals we have been expose to. This list could be the key to properly diagnose and treat the many health problems, including the cancer cases that now being diagnosed.
    Regarding current legislation, SoCalGas is trying to shoot down SB-57, a bill needed because the gas company is trying to circumvent a major provision of SB-380, passed last year, that would require a determination of the root cause of the blowout, that is considered the worse gas leak in U.S. history. SoCalGas has spread out money to various business and special interest groups every year in order to buy a quid pro quo arrangement. The members of these groups undoubtedly do not reside near Aliso Canyon and do not have to be concern about the next leak that could happen with the next major quake or just because the wells were built over 45 years ago and needed to be retired years ago. SoCalGas cares about profits, not safety.