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Rep. Steel Urges Governor Newsom to Join Her in Requesting a Major Disaster Declaration for Orange County

October 4, 2021

(October 4, 2021) Huntington Beach, CA – Today, Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) sent a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to join her in requesting a Major Disaster Declaration from President Biden for Orange County, California. Rep. Steel sent a Major Disaster Declaration request to President Biden on October 3, 2021 following the oil spill off the coast that is estimated to have leaked over 130,000 gallons of oil.

“Today I am requesting that you formally request a Major Disaster Declaration, which is imperative for our community as we continue cleanup and relief efforts. Approval of Public Assistance and Individual Assistance for all the cities and counties affected in California is urgent,” Rep. Steel wrote in the letter.

In the letter, she stressed the importance of the additional Major Disaster Declaration request from Governor Newsom to ensure additional resources are made available for Orange County.

“Please join me in pressing President Biden to declare a Major Disaster Declaration for Orange County. I will continue to assist any way possible to help our constituents. Your declaration and resources will help make that coordination possible,” Rep. Steel wrote.

A Major Disaster Declaration makes additional federal assistance available for state and local agencies working to respond to a natural disaster as well as individuals and households impacted.

You can read the full letter here and the text below: 

 

The Honorable Gavin Newsom

Governor

State of California

1303 10th Street, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Newsom:

On October 3, 2021, I wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to authorize a Major Disaster Declaration for Orange County, California following the oil spill that occurred off the coast of Huntington Beach on October 2, 2021. Officials have estimated that more than 130,000 gallons of oil have leaked from an underwater pipeline owned by Amplify Energy Corp. and operated by Beta Offshore. Today I am requesting that you formally request a Major Disaster Declaration, which is imperative for our community as we continue cleanup and relief efforts. Approval of Public Assistance and Individual Assistance for all the cities and counties affected in California is urgent. The immediate approval of the Major Disaster Declaration is imperative for a swift recovery and for the support of assistance efforts for all Californians.

Federal, state, and local officials have been working around the clock to protect residents, the shoreline, and wildlife. Officials identified a 5.8-mile oil plume running roughly from Huntington Beach Pier to Newport Beach. Southern California needs every resource at their disposal from the Federal Government to assist in recovery efforts.  As we speak the United States Coast Guard has enforced a safety zone off 1,000 yards around oil spill boats. Approximately 3,150 gallons of oil have been recovered from the water and 5,360 feet of boom has been deployed.

Constituents who live along the shoreline are already dealing with tar balls and strong odors. I am encouraged by officials already responding to protect sea life. Dead fish and birds are already being reported on beaches and shorelines. I have serious concerns about the environmental impacts of the spill and applaud the workers who are doing their best to prevent the oil from hitting sensitive wetlands.

I thank the Coast Guard for their command and leadership in the last few days. We must hold Amplify Energy Corp. and Beta Offshore accountable for this disaster. Please join me in pressing President Biden to declare a Major Disaster Declaration for Orange County.

I will continue to assist any way possible to help our constituents. Your declaration and resources will help make that coordination possible.

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