Los Angeles – After news broke of a methane leak at the Valley Gas Plant, Pacoima Beautiful escalated advocacy efforts to secure a clean energy future for the Northeast San Fernando Valley through the Clean Energy for the NESFV first! campaign. News of the methane leak at the Valley Generating Station spurred the community into action and garnered the support of elected officials including the Los Angeles City Council President. Pacoima Beautiful’s push to secure a clean energy future for the Northeast San Fernando Valley has resulted in Council President, Nury Martinez, submitting a motion calling for a sunset date for gas operation at the Valley Gas Plant. This is great news for residents of Sun Valley and is a major step towards a clean energy future for the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
Since learning about the methane leak on August 25 during the LADWP Board of Commissioners meeting, Pacoima Beautiful and community members organized several marches and rallies calling for the shutdown of the gas plant and an immediate fix of the methane leak. Community members demanded that LADWP be held accountable for neglecting to inform them about the methane leak happening in their community. Pacoima Beautiful hosted a virtual townhall with LADWP to make space for Community to express their grievances with the situation and ask their questions directly to LADWP leadership. The virtual townhall was attended by over 100 community members and elected official including the City Council President. LADWP reported the cause of the methane leak and their plan to mitigate the issue by November. LADWP also emphasized their reliance on the gas plant for energy reliability for the rest of the City.
LADWP admitted to previously knowing about a methane leak originating from a faulty compressor equipment as early as September 2019. Staff believe the leak has been occurring at least a year prior to that. According to LADWP Director for Power Supply and Operations, Norman Cahill, “Approximately 10,000 standard cu ft/hr has been leaking for the last couple of years.” LADWP plans to replace the faulty equipment in November to avoid shutting down the facility during peak usage. However, the utility continued to downplay the potential health impact that the Valley Generating Station has caused the Northeast San Fernando Valley community. This blatant disregard for the livelihood of Northeast San Fernando Valley residents is deplorable and is rife with environmental racism implications. Pacoima Beautiful calls on LADWP to do the right thing, stop polluting the Northeast San Fernando Valley residents. We demand transparency and a 100% solution to the methane leak.
The Valley Generating Station is located in Sun Valley a community that is top 5% most disadvantaged community as identified by the Cal Enviro Screen 3.0. “The fact that this facility emitting a toxic gas to an already overburdened community for more than a YEAR–especially in the middle of a pandemic which poses an even greater risk to people with pulmonary conditions–is unforgivable!” says, Veronica Padilla, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful, an environment justice organization based in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Pacoima Beautiful along with their allies in the Los Angeles Clean Energy Coalition have been calling for the transition from the natural gas generating facility at Valley for over year.
“We commend Council President Martinez motion calling for LADWP to identify an end date for gas operations at Valley Generation Station. Our community has carried the health burden of burning gas for long enough. It is time for our City to embrace a clean energy future by prioritizing frontline communities like Sun Valley.” says Veronica Padilla, Executive Director for Pacoima Beautiful.
Associated Program: Valley Gas Plant Campaign