Breaking News Blog

Tuesday, May 20 2014 02:11 PM

Council meeting to discuss gas leak, oil drilling moratorium

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    The Arvin City Council watches a power point presentation on the Varsity Avenue gas leak situation on May 6. From left are councilman Steven Ojeda, councilman Jose Gurrola (foreground), Mayor Jose Flores and councilwoman Lupe Vasquez.

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BY RUTH BROWN Californian staff writer rbrown@bakersfield.com

The Arvin City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss a proposed resolution asking the county to conduct independent air and soil samples near the eight homes evacuated in March because of a gas line leak.

The residents of Nelson Court have been displaced since March 18 after the gas line owned by Petro Capital Resources LLC was discovered leaking.

The council resolution asks the Kern County Fire Department and Kern County Environmental Health Services to retain an environmental testing firm to conduct air and soil surveys in the neighborhood. The resolution asks the county to confirm and verify samples taken by the firm hired by PCR, because residents expressed concerns about relying on the veracity of a company paid by PCR.

The resolution also asks the county to release any additional information it has on the gas leak and to conduct personal meetings with each of the displaced families.

Global Community Monitoring, a nonprofit environmental group, will give a presentation at the meeting regarding the types of chemicals found in the neighborhood where the gas leak occurred and the threats they pose.

Additionally, in the council's 6 p.m. regular meeting, Councilman Jose Gurrola will ask the other councilmembers to consider drafting an ordinance to place a 45-day moratorium on "drilling, redrilling or deepening" any wells associated with fracking and other oil and gas well stimulation techniques used in production or extraction.

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