California Secures Assistance for Businesses Impacted by Oil Spill

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Working to support the business community impacted by the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved federal disaster assistance for businesses in the region.

The SBA Administrator has declared Orange County a disaster area, which makes available disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans.  The declaration includes Orange County and the adjacent counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

“California is committed to supporting the communities and local economies that have been affected by this spill and we thank the Biden Administration for this assistance to help impacted businesses get back on their feet.  We’ll continue to coordinate with federal, state and local partners to ensure the recovery of this vibrant region,” said Governor Newsom.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/.  Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Governor Newsom earlier this month proclaimed a state of emergency in Orange County to support the work underway to protect public health and the environment and met with U.S. Coast Guard, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and California Natural Resources Agency officials on the ground leading the emergency response to the spill, which originated in federal waters.

The Governor has made California a national leader on efforts to phase out the use of fossil fuels, fight the climate crisis and protect people and the environment.  California has not granted new offshore leases for oil production in over 50 years and the state is moving to phase out harmful oil production in our communities no later than 2045 statewide.  Last week, Governor Newsom announced that CalGEM released a proposed regulation that would prohibit new wells and facilities within a 3,200-foot setback from homes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other sensitive locations.  Under Governor Newsom, for the first time in state history the number of permits to permanently and safely close wells far exceeds the number of permits for new wells in existing oil fields.  Just after taking office in January 2019, Governor Newsom opposed the Trump administration’s proposal to expand oil and gas exploration and production off of California’s coast.  He urged the Department of the Interior to withdraw California from further consideration for renewed offshore oil and gas development and asked the Bureau of Land Management to shelve its proposal to open new areas of public land in California for oil and gas lease sales.