Rancho Park Facility Leak

The Hon. Paul Koretz
5 th Council District
200 N Spring Street, Suite 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012

December 8, 2017

Dear Councilman Koretz,
I am writing on behalf of the Board of the Westside Village Homeowners Association to express our serious concerns about the way in which the leak of mercaptan from the Rancho Park Drill Site at 10460 W. Pico Blvd. operated by the Hillcrest Beverly Oil Corp. on November 29, 2017 was
handled.

We understand that you have introduced a motion to the City Council calling for an investigation into the very poor communication between the Hillcrest Beverly Oil Corp., SoCal Gas, the city’s safety agencies and the residents affected by the chemical spill. I for one called SoCal Gas that
evening and, after waiting on hold for a half hour, was told only that they had had several reports of a smell in my neighborhood and that they had crews in the area. The person to whom I spoke had no information about whether or not we should evacuate nor any advice about whom to call for
more information. It is our understanding that the lead public information agency should have been NotifyLA, but apparently, that did not work for this emergency.

The Board also wants to express their concern that Hillcrest Beverly Oil Corp. and Sempra Energy are operating the Rancho Park facility in a manner that jeopardizes the safety of the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. For example, we would like to know which city agencies regulate this facility and whether or not these regulations are being enforced. We suggest that that you look into imposing consequences such as the suspension or revocation of their Conditional Use Permit unless
the responsible entities demonstrate that they are in compliance, including an Emergency Response Program in place or if there are further incidents that put the safety of the public at risk.

On behalf of our members, we ask for a full accounting of exactly how the incident occurred and how it was handled by the Hillcrest Beverly Oil Corp, SoCal Gas and the city’s safety agencies. This accounting should include the chain of notifications on November 29 th , when the identification of
the chemical was made, the reasons why no one in the affected area could get credible information about the possible danger they were in nor any advice about what they should do. It was reassuring to learn after the fact that the smell was mercaptan, but had it been mercaptan and natural gas, the outcome could have been disastrous.

Sincerely,
Brian Considine
President
The Westside Village Homeowners Association