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    Ventura County Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves Resolution Calling For SoCalGas Compressor Station’s Removal

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    Ventura, CA – In a unanimous vote, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution calling for a health and community impact assessment of SoCalGas’ 1555 N. Olive Street compressor station with the goal of removing the facility from its current location across the street from the E.P. Foster Elementary School. 

     

    Since August 2021, work has been paused on the compressor station per the request of the California Public Utilities Commission to allow for the completion of an alternatives analysis by SoCalGas. Despite public outcry and a directive from the Ventura City Council for an independent Environmental Impact Review (EIR), no additional analysis has taken place. The Board’s resolution reiterates support for that review and calls on the California Environmental Protection Agency to perform an independent study which would include neighborhood compatibility and health needs assessments. The end goal would be the compressor station’s relocation.

     

    Among other concerns, the Board cited “the current site’s close proximity to numerous sensitive populations and the risks historically associated with gas compressor sites including…ruptures, leaks and explosions.” Approximately 500 people live within a quarter mile of the facility, but as many as 4,750 live within a half mile radius — close enough to be impacted by a gas explosion. 

     

    The Westside Clean Air Coalition (WCAC) has opposed the expansion of the gas compressor station and advocated for an EIR to address the myriad health and environmental impacts of the project. Members of WCAC released the following statements in response to the vote:

     

    “The Board of Supervisors has listened to the community of West Ventura,” said Food & Water Watch Senior Central Coast Organizer Tomás Morales Rebecchi. “It’s time for Governor Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission to do the same. After a year of tireless local advocacy and outreach, there can be no doubt that SoCalGas’ compressor station is neither wanted nor needed in this community. A health study is not enough. Governor Newsom must shut this facility down. There’s no other way to protect our children and families from the dangers of gas infrastructure.”

     

    “While we live in a divisive time, one thing from the meeting is clear,” said Westside Community Council President Liz Campos. “We all say we care about the children. I applaud our county supervisors today for taking a decisive action to protect West Ventura’s children from excessive exposure to toxic gases. No gas compressor and no toxic industry belongs less than a football field length from a school playground.”

     

    From Shannon Simpson, Executive Director of Climate First: Replacing Oil & Gas (CFROG): “By adopting the resolution Supervisor Matt LaVere put forward today, Ventura County Supervisors are standing up for the health and safety of this community by requesting action from state agencies and sending a strong message that the quality of life of those who work, live, and go to school in the vicinity of the SoCal Gas compressor station matters. Additionally, as California moves forward with phasing out fossil fuels and Ventura County works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent below 2015 levels by 2030, all expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure should be critically evaluated – as it relates to safety, health, and the climate crisis. We strongly urge the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to continue to monitor this issue and advocate for relocation of this facility.”

    Jessica Gable, (202) 683-2478, [email protected]


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