LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, May 13, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) released the results of its Indoor Environmental Testing Protocol in the Porter Ranch area. DPH also issued a directive to Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to offer and implement, at its own cost, a comprehensive cleaning protocol. In response, SoCalGas issued the following statement:
"The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has acknowledged that no barrier exists for residents to return home, and it is safe for residents to be home in Porter Ranch and the surrounding community. The Department of Public Health's data clearly indicate that there are no levels of concern of any of the approximately 250 substances the agency tested for in the homes, including metals such as barium, none of which was detected at any level of health concern.
"DPH previewed its findings the night before at the May 12th Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council's Community Advisory Committee meeting, where DPH stated its desire to 'assure everyone that the levels detected, even of metals, are in fact, very low' and that the answer to the question of whether it is safe to return home is yes, 'people can safely move back into their homes.'
"This data finally provides residents with the additional support they have been looking for: There is no risk to public health related to the leak that was permanently sealed months ago. It is long past the time for the residents who chose to remain relocated to exit the relocation program, and for the community as a whole to return to normal.
"DPH recommends that residents clean their homes with soap and water, and vacuum out of an abundance of caution to address dust that may have accumulated while residents were away. DPH also stated that cleaning 'is not a barrier to move back in.' SoCalGas is reviewing a DPH directive regarding the funding of a comprehensive cleaning protocol for all homes in the Porter Ranch area. At this time, in light of the data confirming that it is safe to return home, SoCalGas is not offering cleaning to additional residents.
"We continue to work to support the transition back to normalcy. Over the past several months, our dedicated employees, many of whom live in Porter Ranch, have served more than 30,000 resident visits at our Community Resource Center, provided temporary housing for 8,000 families, processed more than 41,000 reimbursements totaling $76 million, installed 38,000 air filtration systems, and cleaned public parks, playgrounds, and schools.
"We continue to work quickly to process reimbursements, and we will deliver on our promise to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions from the leak."
About Southern California Gas Co: Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 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. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Company