Padilla Applauds Disaster Recovery Assistance for California Small Businesses Affected by Oil Spill
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), issued the following statement applauding the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) announcement that it is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses that were economically impacted by this month’s oil spill off the Orange County coast.
“I want to thank SBA Administrator Guzman for providing federal assistance to small businesses that have been impacted by the oil spill,” Senator Padilla said. “Small businesses continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now many in Southern California are also feeling the impact of the oil spill. I will continue working to ensure accountability for this spill—and to prevent future spills.”
The SBA’s disaster declaration makes assistance available in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The deadline to apply for assistance is July 27, 2022.
Beginning today, October 28, SBA will establish a Virtual Business Recovery Center to answer questions about their disaster loan program, explain the application process, and help each individual complete their electronic loan application. Businesses can contact the Recovery Center at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or (800) 659-2955.
For more information on the disaster loan program, including eligibility and applications, please visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/
Earlier this month, Senator Padilla toured and received a briefing on the emergency response to the devastating oil spill.
Senator Padilla and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have called on the U.S. Department of Transportation, which has oversight over pipeline safety, to investigate the pipeline leak that caused the oil spill off the coast of California. They asked that the results of the investigation be made public and for the Department to commit to clear timelines for implementing safety regulations such as inspections, automatic shut-off valves, and automated leak detection systems for existing pipelines. They also asked the Department to ensure that the company operating the pipeline properly notified authorities when it first discovered the leak, and to provide a thorough public report to Congress on its findings.
In January, Senator Padilla joined Feinstein in introducing the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, which would prohibit new oil and gas drilling off the West Coast. Padilla was joined by fellow West Coast Senators in urging Senate Leaders to include the ban on new West Coast oil and gas drilling in the budget bill.