STATEMENT FROM COUNCILMEMBER BONIN REGARDING A GAS WELL BLOWOUT IN MARINA DEL REY

“This morning, I was notified by environmental activists that construction of a hotel in unincorporated Marina del Rey caused a methane gas leak from an abandoned underground oil well, prompting an emergency order from the state of California, directing immediate actions to protect life, health, property and natural resources in the surrounding neighborhood.

“While the construction project, the abandoned well, and the leak all happened outside the City of Los Angeles and outside of its jurisdiction, the site is immediately across the street from the homes of several hundred City residents I represent.

“I am particularly concerned at the lack of notification to neighbors, and at continued risks of leaks due to a potential lack of structural integrity of the well, which state officials said was a “serious concern.” This incident also raises concerns about other old and abandoned wells in the Playa del Rey oilfield area.

“I share the concerns of immediate neighbors, Food & Water Watch, and Protect Playa Now regarding the health and safety of my constituents in the area, and I echo the calls for more information, greater transparency, and a halt to any further injection of gas into nearby storage fields until we can be sure it is safe. Due to the recent events in Aliso Canyon, residents are understandably skeptical of assurances of safety, deserve more information, and demand greater scrutiny.

“Fossil fuels are dangerous. Whether it is their production or their use, they threaten our environment and our safety. That is why I support aggressive measures to transition to 100% renewable energy sources, why I support the STAND-LA effort to impose a safe buffer from fossil fuel extraction and sensitive uses such as schools and residences, and why I am calling for additional investigation of this incident and greater assurances that my constituents are safe.”