VENTURA, Calif. - Ventura Mayor Sofía Rubalcava joined city residents and the Westside Clean Air Coalition at a protest against the expansion of natural gas compressor stations on Saturday.
The rally, which kicked off at 2 p.m., was planned after several residents spotted workers disturbing soil that may be contaminated with lead at SoCal Gas Company's property on the 1500 block of North Olive Street, off of Ventura Avenue.
The site contains a natural gas compressor station that the company is reportedly hoping to double in size.
Residents said when they and a City Council member approached the workers at the site, the workers refused to identify themselves. In response, the City of Ventura issued a Stop Work order.
The scheduled march began at Kellogg Park and headed straight to SoCalGas' compressor station on Olive Street.
"We’re asking for a complete Environmental Impact Report and Health Impact Assessment of the entire project by the state and demanding that SoCal Gas create a plan to safely clean up the toxic soil and SHUT DOWN the compressor station," Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy said in a Facebook post.
Residents and members of the Westside Clean Air Coalition, including Food & Water Watch, CAUSE, CFROG, BikeVentura, Sierra Club, VC Climate Hub 350, VC Showing Up For Racial Justice and Runners for Public Lands were in attendance.
City leaders including Mayor Rubalcava and Westside Community Council Chair Liz Campos also came to show their support.
The event was emceed by Food & Water Watch Central Coast Senior Organizer Tomás Rebecchi.
Members of a bike brigade organized by BikeVentura carried signs and speakers during the rally.
The protest was streamed live on Facebook at Food & Water Watch - California and Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE).
We will have more tonight on NewsChannel 3-12.