Just days before the Coastal Commission was to hear an appeal of the approved expansion of the natural gas storage facility located on the bluffs near Goleta Beach, concerned neighbors worked out a deal with the Southern California Gas Company, which agreed to undergo extra scrutiny at each critical step of the project — via the County of Santa Barbara’s Environmental Quality Assurance Program — and work on upgrading the facility to deal with existing impacts.

“SoCalGas is sensitive to the interests of our neighbors and has listened to our stakeholders in this process,” said spokesperson Denise King. “We are taking necessary steps to maximize the benefits and lessen any effects to our environment and community.” Attorney Marc Chytilo, who represented the Goleta Against Drilling group, explained, “I wind up in a number of neighborhood disputes, and any time we can get the neighbors to address the issues and work on each others’ concerns, it’s always a better outcome than standing in the corner and lobbing grenades.”


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