The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday called on the county to review plans by a Long Beach-based company to drill new wells in the Aliso Canyon Oil Field.
The Termo Co. wants to drill new wells in three locations in the Aliso Canyon, an area that consists of two pastures and an orchard, according to a resolution introduced by Councilman Mitch Englander.
The councilman represents city residents who live near the oil field, which is in unincorporated Los Angeles County, including the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council, which is worried the drilling may lead to “fracking and additional harmful effects to the environment,” according to the resolution.
“This resolution is critically important,” Englander told his colleagues, who unanimously approved his resolution.
“While there hasn’t been anything significant, and Termo has been there for a number of years,” he said new scientific information is being generated and “just a review is not a bad thing — we’ve done reviews on building parks, as well.”
Termo spokesman Lou Baglietto said the company has operated in the Aliso Canyon hills for 25 years, and the project’s impacts would be “minimal.”
“It’s over the hill, and out of the sight of Porter Ranch,” as well as 1 1/2 miles away from the nearest residence, Baglietto said.
The project would “expand our field from the existing 18 wells to potentially 30 wells,” he said.
“We understand that some members of the community may have apprehensions about our project,” Baglietto said. “Oil production is new to them, and given the sensationalism of groups that oppose oil, it is no surprise that this resolution has made its way to the (City Council) chambers.”
The resolution calls on the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning to do a “thorough environmental review, including an environmental impact report” on Termo’s drilling plans “in order to ensure the health and welfare of the residents and the environment.”
Matt Pakucko, who said he is part of a “large and growing group of residents in the Porter Ranch area” concerned about the Termo project, charged that an environmental impact study on the project was “minimal and incomplete.”
The EIR suggested moving or trimming trees, widening access roads and keeping fire abatement equipment nearby, but “common sense says there’s a lot more impact from oil drilling and production and chemicals than that very minimal report those guys submitted,” he said.
A full environmental impact report is needed “because when they state it’s a mile and something away from the nearest residence, they’re not taking into consideration wind, trucks full of chemicals and oil that go up and down these roads right through Porter Ranch, 50 feet from people’s homes,” he said.
— City News Service