At approximately 9:00 PM last night, my deputies began receiving text messages and phone calls reporting a strong odor we attribute to natural gas leaks. My Chief Deputy of Public Safety and my Director of Environmental Affairs began looking into the situation immediately and kept me informed throughout the night.
We have talked in depth to various public safety officers, representatives from SoCalGas and the administrator of the oil drilling facility at Rancho Park, as well as the city’s own Petroleum Administrator. Each agree that there was a “small” spill of an odorant that is added to natural gas at the Rancho Park drill site. Natural gas is odorless, and, as a safety precaution, a distinctive odor is added to it so most people can easily notice its presence. Please note the odors were not caused by a gas leak but by a spill of the odorant. As many of you know, we have already had our eyes on this Rancho Park drill site due to some permitting issues which, I might add, have not yet been fully resolved to my satisfaction.
That said, we believe this to be a one-time occurrence and that neighbors nearby are not in any danger, whatsoever. The spill has been cleaned up and the odor has begun to dissipate. Furthermore, tomorrow I will be introducing an expedited motion to formally ask the City to look into the situation and I will ask the two companies to figure out exactly what happened and, more importantly, what they can do to prevent it from ever happening again. While they are assuring us that the odorant does not present a health risk, particularly this small amount, I will be asking for more information, including specific details about what chemicals were spilled. I want to assure everyone that we will be closely monitoring the situation going forward.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District