Environment & Science

County orders SoCal Gas to stop cleaning Porter Ranch homes

The contractor hired by SoCal Gas to clean residences affected by the Aliso Canyon gas leak was “neither equipped nor trained for proper cleaning as required by Public Health,” health officials said Sunday.
The contractor hired by SoCal Gas to clean residences affected by the Aliso Canyon gas leak was “neither equipped nor trained for proper cleaning as required by Public Health,” health officials said Sunday.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

County health officials have ordered Southern California Gas Co. to stop cleaning the homes of Porter Ranch residents who were forced to relocate because of the Aliso Canyon Gas leak.

The company was ordered by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Friday to begin cleaning some 2,500 homes in compliance with a protocol designed by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

But the agency said Sunday that the contractor hired by SoCal Gas was “neither equipped nor trained for proper cleaning as required by Public Health.”

The agency said it has called for a meeting with SoCal Gas on Monday to discuss how they propose to meet the cleaning requirements. Cleanup will not continue until the company shows it can comply with the Public Health protocol, the agency said.

More than 8,000 families were displaced after the gas line blowout, and some 2,539 families have stayed away out of lingering health concerns, according to court documents.

Relocated residents who have been staying in hotels can still request a cleaning but must do so by Wednesday at 5 p.m. Residents who have relocated to housing other than hotels have until Friday at 5 p.m.

Residents who reject the cleaning allowance must move back within 48 hours following the Wednesday and Friday deadlines, respectively, if they want to collect their relocation benefits. Those who opt for the cleaning will have 48 hours after their residences are professionally cleaned to move home.