Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced that the Court of Appeal’s order today stayed the trial court’s order of March 18 which would have forced Porter Ranch residents to return to their homes by March 25 or pay for their own relocation costs. The Court of Appeal will take up the issue after March 29 when the Gas Company and the county will have filed their opposition and reply.
“This is another victory for the victims of Porter Ranch who can remain where they are until March 29 or until further action by the Court of Appeal,” said Supervisor Antonovich. The Department of Public Health will begin testing homes Friday in conjunction with Dr. Michael Jerrett, Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Late last week, the trial judge neglected to fully consider the declaration by Dr. Cyrus Rangan, from the Department of Public Health, that some residents are exhibiting symptoms that may indicate the presence of harmful contaminants. The Court had previously issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to require the Gas Company to extend the period it will pay for relocation expenses to March 18. The Gas Company’s appeal was rejected by the Court. The Gas Company and the City of Los Angeles had previously reached an agreement allowing only eight days; ignoring input from Los Angeles County and the Department of Public Health, which sought 30 days for additional contaminant testing.
“The comprehensive in-home testing plan is vital to identifying any continuing threat to the health of the victims of the Aliso Canyon gas leak. This marks the second adverse ruling against the Gas Company,” said Supervisor Antonovich.