City Council committee to discuss both Rancho Park & West Pico drill sites this week
By Chad Winthrop
Los Angeles lawmakers will discuss in a meeting this week two local oiling drilling sites: Rancho Park and West Pico.
On Tuesday, November 17 at 1 p.m. the Los Angeles City Council Energy, Climate Change & Environmental Justice Committee will discuss both the Rancho Park and West Pico drill sites.
In January of 2017, the office of Council District 5, which includes Century City and Westwood, was made aware of the presence of unpermitted equipment located onsite at the Rancho Park Drill Site, including in particular, a CEB 1200 Enclosed Gas Burner, which would have been used to burn excess natural gas produced at the site in the course of oil drilling operations, creating additional air pollution in the area. District 5 Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion on this matter directing the City Departments to do a thorough site review.
The Rancho Park drill site is located at the Rancho Park Golf Course
Additionally, on November 29, 2017, Council District 5 residents surrounding the Rancho Park golf course began complaining of a strong and noxious odor. The source of the odor was a spill of Mercaptan odorant from a pump failure of Southern California Gas Company equipment at the Rancho Park Drill Site.
“Residents were understandably frightened and shaken by the incident and, until then, many were not aware ofthe drill site located within their neighborhood,” reads the Koretz Council motion.
Councilmember Koretz introduced another motion directing City staff to report back on causes and solutions for the spill and City response. Hillcrest Beverly Oil Company agreed to fund and perform a 3rd party inspection of the Rancho Park Drill Site with a deadline of August 17, 2020, to install air monitoring equipment, and to work towards ways to remove the Mercaptan odorant equipment from the site altogether.
The motion going before the committee this week would direct the City’s Petroleum Administrator to work with the Hillcrest Beverly Oil Company to report back within 60 days on the results of the 3rd party inspection of the Rancho Park Drill Site, the status and results of the ongoing air monitoring, and ongoing efforts to remove the Mercaptan equipment.
The West Pico Drill Site item on the agenda is a closed session item due to legal issues at stake and the City Attorney says that they will not report until the item is approved by the committee and is heard in the full Council meeting.