LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Superior Court granted the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' request to extend the period for returning home for those residents who chose to relocate as a result of the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak. SoCalGas issued the following media statement in response:
"We are disappointed in today's decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle, sitting temporarily due to the unavailability of the judge with primary oversight of these matters, to extend and modify the agreed-upon temporary relocation plan. Only relocated residents who remained in hotels today, or who checked out today, may return to hotels and be eligible for reimbursement. Throughout this difficult time, SoCalGas has been committed to providing appropriate relocation assistance to affected residents until independent data indicated that relocation was no longer necessary.
"The Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) determined last week that the leak has been permanently stopped, and weeks of air-quality monitoring data and scientific analysis from independent air and health agencies – including the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, CalEPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District – demonstrate there is no environmental or health reason for any further delay in enabling residents to return home.
"Unfortunately, today's ruling disregarded these findings, creates additional uncertainty for the community, and imposes unexpected requirements on area hotels and temporary housing providers that may not be prepared to accommodate the unexpected extension of the relocation plan.
"The relocation plan that was negotiated with the City of Los Angeles took into consideration a full range of factors, including air quality, health and safety, logistics and proper notification. That plan was the result of a collaborative process with the City Attorney's office, as well as community, local and state-level stakeholders. This last second ruling extending the relocation plan upends this collaborative process."
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.