LOS ANGELES, July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today SoCalGas petitioned the L.A. County Superior Court for a Writ of Mandate to annul the Departmentof Public Health's (Public Health) Cleaning Directive because it is not necessary to address any public health hazard. According to Public Health there is no health hazard. The company issued the following statement:
"When the leaking well at the Aliso Canyon storage facility was permanently sealed five months ago, one of the key commitments SoCalGas made to the community was to help those who chose to relocate to return to their homes, and we have delivered on that promise.
"Since the well has been sealed, thousands of samples have been taken by regulatory agencies, including the Department of Public Health, of the indoor and outdoor air, and of soil and dust in selected homes in the Porter Ranch community. Public Health's own testing results have detected no substance above state or federal levels of concern.
"Nevertheless, in conjunction with the completion of the relocation program, SoCalGas has cleaned more than 1,700 homes of formerly relocated residents following Public Health's interior cleaning protocol. Relocated residents have returned home, the final relocation reimbursements are being processed, and the community is returning to normal.
"The facts are clear. Public health officials, including Department of Public Health, have repeatedly stated that their data do not suggest that the conditions in the greater Porter Ranch area present a risk to public health, and that the community is safe.
"Despite this overwhelming evidence, and without any supporting facts, Public Health issued a Directive to SoCalGas that could require the company to clean nearly 35,000 homes--virtually every home in the Porter Ranch community and beyond, even though people having been living in these homes throughout. There has been no data provided to support this unnecessary demand from a health and safety perspective. It will only cause additional disruption to a community that wants to get back to normal as soon as possible.
"It is important to remember that relocation was voluntary for residents. No evacuation was ever ordered and at no time did Public Health identify a condition resulting from the leak that presented a long term health risk to residents. Moreover, since the well was sealed, Public Health has not identified a health hazard or condition that would require people to leave their homes, or that would preclude their returning. According to Public Health, the homes of those who returned and those who never left were and are safe.
"SoCalGas remains committed to working with all of the regulators and with the community. However, it is not acceptable to require unnecessary work that is neither justified nor supported. Once again, the facts are clear: The Department of Public Health's own data indicate that the homes are safe.
"We look forward to resolving this issue quickly and to working with the community to move forward."
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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These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.