CBS Local, Los Angeles
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A large number of residents from Porter Ranch and surrounding areas staged a major protest Saturday frustrated and angered by the continuing gas leak at Aliso Canyon.
The protesters called on SoCal Gas and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to shut the facility down.
CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold spoke to residents — many of whom have been forced to leave their homes.
Many of the protesters wore gas masks. Elena McMahon was there protesting along with her two children.
She told Weingold the leak is literally making her and her kids sick. “I have terrible headaches,” she said, “my daughter has experienced stomach pains, my son’s has nosebleeds. It’s just really bad.”
Robert Glassman, an attorney representing several families, was also in attendance. His firm released a video showing a huge plume of gas being released from the plant and hovering over the community.
One family said the gas made their daughter so sick, she began having seizures. “I want them to move quicker and I want them to cap this leak,” Gassman said, “Immediately. Today. Not in three months. But today.”
Gillian Wright, the vice president of customer service for SoCal Gas, she said the company is working around the clock to cap the leak — but it will take months. “Our number one priority in the company right now,” she said, “is to address the leak, to get it stopped and to help the community with the concerns and symptoms that some of the people are experiencing.”
Saturday afternoon, the company set up a mobile Community Resource Center — they’re offering residents and schools air filtration systems and weather stripping.
For people like Lisa Woodard, it’s all too little, too late. “I’m breaking out in skin cancers, all over, that have appeared in the last three to four weeks.”
Weingold spoke to residents who told her that even after the leaky well is fixed, they are concerned that one of the company’s 115 other sites could suffer a similar failure. That’s why they want the entire facility shut down.