AB 1420 addresses Arvin Gas Leak; Passes two key committees
SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) announced that his Assembly Bill (AB) 1420 - which would set clear guidelines for county, state, and private entities when unfortunate gas leaks occur - unanimously passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.
"AB 1420 is a strong step forward in providing clear direction in the law so that this type of tragedy never happens again," said Assemblymember Salas. "Families should never have to go through the kind of experience that Arvin went through - and with this measure, communities across the state will be ensured of their safety and well-being during a time of crisis."
Assembly bill 1420 will clarify existing law if a leak occurs there is clear direction for all involved entities and their roles of responding to these kinds of accidents. This bill also requires that all pipelines near sensitive areas like schools and residents are identified and prioritized for testing.
"This bill provides clarity in existing law when a gas leak occurs," said Cesar Campos, Director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network. "We applaud Assemblymember Salas for responding to a public health concern with creative and focused policy and we stand ready to provide our support to secure the passage of this important legislation."
In early 2014, a gas leak was detected beneath the community of Arvin, California. A total of 8 families were evacuated from their homes and unable to return for several months. Once the leak was detected, affected residents were unclear where to get resources and information. This incident demonstrated a lack of clarity in the law regarding the role of all involved entities.
"I want to commend Assemblymember Salas for authoring AB 1420," said Arvin City Mayor Jose Flores. "This will make sure families are safe throughout the state and prevent confusion and delay in response to these disasters from ever affecting any other California community."
Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Avenal, Corcoran, Delano, Hanford, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.