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Oily residue from methane gas leak coats some Porter Ranch homes

Daisy Weinberg's home in Porter Ranch.

CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- A California court has rejected a utility's efforts to stop paying to house Los Angeles-area residents displaced by a massive gas leak

The 2nd District Court of Appeal denied a petition Wednesday by Southern California Gas Co. to reconsider a judge's order that required the company to pay for room and board until March 18.

The order came last week on the day the company was due to cease reimbursing Porter Ranch residents staying with family, friends and at hotels.

The gas company says it appealed because public health officials have determined it's safe for residents to return to homes near its Aliso Canyon facility.

Thousands of residents moved out of the area during the 16-week leak, and many complained of nausea, headaches, nosebleeds and other symptoms.

Some families returning to Porter Ranch following the methane gas leak are finding goopy residue coating their homes inside and out, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Daisy Weinberg's home is covered in brownish droplets.

"It's really hard to see but when you touch it, it's a little oily and some little black spots, and there was a smell inside the house. But we already cleaned and we put some Febreze try to get rid of the smell," she told CBS Los Angeles.

"The Southern California Gas Company needs to be responsible for this and needs to clean this up when it's found in people's properties," said Cynthia Harding, the interim director of the Department of Public Health. She said being around the petroleum component doesn't pose any health hazards, but touching it can cause a rash.

The tweet included a link telling people to avoid suspicious growth in gardens and not to eat anything with those brownish spots. It is just another blow to Porter Ranch residents like Weinberg and her family who are still living in rentals.

"We still don't feel safe to come back," Weinberg said. "We have to really clean the house, and we're thinking of getting new drapes. All the clothes that we have inside the closet we don't use we're also going to throw them away."

"There's no place like home. So living outside in a hotel for months and not being able to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas at home was tough," said Evelyn Navarro.

"They (SoCal Gas) have been the most irresponsible quasi-public agency that I have ever encountered. It's just one road block after the other," Supervisor Michael Antonovich said.

"SoCalGas has analyzed several spot samples for hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the levels detected do not raise health concerns," SoCalGas spokesperson Chris Gilbride said in a statement.