The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday to temporarily relocate almost 1,900 students from the two schools affected by the Aliso Canyon gas leak.
"These two schools have been significantly disrupted by the gas leak," according to the resolution. "Absenteeism and visits to the health offices at each of these schools has significantly increased. Furthermore, since the lead was first reported, families are opting out of attending school and are instead choosing independent study for their children, while others have transferred to a different school."
L.A. Unified is moving Castlebay Lane Charter’s 770 students about eight miles south to Sunny Brae Elementary School. Porter Ranch Community School’s 1100 students will move to Northridge Middle School about seven miles south.
Portable classrooms and available space will accommodate the students, teachers, and staff for the rest of the year.
The massive methane leak from Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field is spewing from a natural gas well that ruptured in October, pouring out an estimated 50,000 kilograms of methane per hour.
The two affected schools — Castlebay Lane Charter and Porter Ranch Community School — have seen an uptick in sick students and absenteeism. Both schools are located within two miles of the field, the resolution states.
The utility has been unable to stop the leak and its accompanying rotten-egg smell from a chemical used to add an odor to the gas. Residents in the area have complained of experiencing headaches and nosebleeds.
The school board also directed the school district’s lawyers to try to recoup all costs or damages from Southern California Gas Co. and/or Sempra Energy.
Read the full resolution below.
This story has been updated.