Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Arvin Residents Move Back Home Despite Health Concerns

Dec 8, 2014

Eight families living on Nelson Court in the small agricultural town of Arvin are finally returning home after being evacuated because of a gas leak in March.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

After being forced to evacuate in March because of a gas leak, eight Arvin families are finally returning to the place they call home. But, as Fm89’s Diana Aguilera explains, some residents are still concerned about the situation.

State and Kern County officials met with the families on Friday and told them it was safe for the residents to return home.

Representatives from the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources say the rounds of testing done in and around the homes on Nelson Court confirmed that the level of gasses were back to normal.

Resident Yesenia Lara says she’s glad to hear the results from the testing but she wasn't satisfied. Lara wanted the company, the state or the county to assume liability for any future health problems they might have. In response, the county and the state told residents they're not authorized to comply to such request.

"They didn’t give us a choice but to move and since we can’t afford a second mortgage we we’re literally forced to move back home," Lara says.

The owners of the pipeline ordered the residents to move out from the apartments that Petro Capital Resources had provided to them by December 7.

State officials say there will be more testing done in about a month.