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City Aims to Educate Public on Macpherson Oil Settlement

An effort to better inform Hermosa Beach residents on the lawsuit settlement is planned.

As a handful of residents addressed the Hermosa Beach City Council regarding its recent , a common theme emerged—they wanted answers.

In the settlement, Macpherson Oil has agreed to drop its lawsuit and assign its lease and permits for an oil-drilling project to E & B Natural Resources Management Corp., subject to Hermosa voters allowing the drilling to take place.

Due to the complex nature of the agreement, the City Council in its meeting unanimously decided to form a subcommittee of the city's mayor and mayor pro tem to help inform the public on the settlement's details.

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Residents argued the community needs more information about the settlement, such as "a cost benefit analysis, impacts of safety and health, and what the impacts will be on our property values," said Hermosa Beach resident Jeff Cohn during the council meeting. Cohn, along with some of his neighbors, opposed the idea of allowing oil drilling in town.

Hermosa Beach resident Hany Fangary, who last year, thanked city officials for reaching an end in the Macpherson legal battle, but reiterated that residents need to know what's at stake.

"The facts of the settlement are not clear to us," he said. "I encourage you to invest the time and effort to educate us."

The council agreed to appoint the city's mayor and mayor pro tem to serve on the ad hoc subcommittee in an effort to better inform the community.

"We’re suggesting we do an information campaign," said Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Duclos during the council meeting. "We are not hiring anybody. We’re essentially delegating two members of council to take this on as a formal task."

As the city plans to launch its education campaign, what questions about the settlement do you need answered?

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