Wilk bill to require Aliso Canyon long-term health study passes Senate committee

SACRAMENTO –Today, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, presented Assembly Bill 1903 in the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, which would mandate the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to conduct an independent scientific study on the long-term health effects of chemical exposure during the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak.

“The Aliso Canyon gas leak forced thousands of my constituents to be relocated from their homes and their lives disrupted since late October,” Wilk said. “It is vital to the residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding areas that a comprehensive and independent study be done to understand any long-term health implications stemming from the gas leak.”

A leak was discovered at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility in Porter Ranch on October 23, 2015. The leak lasted for 110 days, spewing methane into the air before it was capped, forcing 22,000 residents from their homes. This study will be focused on the health of those individuals who lived within a 12-mile radius for the period between October 23, 2015 and the date in which the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) determines their well safety review is complete. The chemicals to be studied will include methane, benzene and mercaptan.

AB 1903 will next be heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.