The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to develop a plan to install air quality monitoring systems on street lighting poles and other places, in the wake of a methane gas leak reported in August at the Valley Generating Station in Sun Valley.
The motion authored by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez is in addition to her proposal to provide immediate relief and create a trust fund for residents affected by the gas leak at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power facility.
“Communities in the Northeast San Fernando Valley have carried the burden of environmental injustice for too long,” Rodriguez said. “It’s unconscionable that DWP does not have monitoring systems in place to protect the residents. DWP must provide immediate relief and implement emergency protocols to ensure that residents are not exposed to harmful emissions.”
On Aug. 26, LADWP representatives reported that staffers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory informed the department of a methane gas leak at the Valley Generating Station. The methane was observed during JPL’s most recent overflights on July 16 and Aug. 7 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
“Though the methane emissions are considered low compared to other sources, we are sensitive to your concerns and want to assure you that we are working as quickly and safely as we can to repair the leak while also minimizing usage of the power plant to the extent possible,” the LADWP stated on Sept. 4.
The utility reported that the materials needed for the repair are scheduled to arrive in October, with the repairs slated for November when a shutdown could be done without “jeopardizing the electrical grid and potentially causing widespread power outages.”
The Valley Generating Station is located in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, an area that has “endured decades of environmental injustice,” according to Rodriguez. The plan will include placing the air quality monitors within one mile of the Valley Generating Station.