The gas leak that has been plaguing Porter Ranch for almost four months has been temporarily stopped, Southern California Gas Company announced Thursday.
This is some welcome good news for the thousands of residents displaced by the Aliso Canyon leak, however the well will still need to be permanently sealed and examined by state regulators.
Meanwhile, as the utility company and state officials work to finally resolve this issue, businesses in the Porter Ranch area continue to suffer.
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced it will make Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to businesses and nonprofits left in economic disarray by the leak, which has left more than 4,600 area households vacant.
The loans can provide up to $2 million to help manage operations and other financial obligations for suffering businesses. The association will determine loan amounts based on businesses’ financial need, and will establish the repayment plans on a case-by-case basis, according to its website. All loan applications must be filed before the Nov. 8 deadline.
“Although the gas company has promised a resolution to this crisis as soon as this week, it may be too late for businesses that rely on the more than 15,000 residents that have been relocated,” said Councilman Mitchell Englander, whose district includes Porter Ranch, in a statement. “I want to thank the Small Business Administration for recognizing the enormous impact this has had on our local businesses and our local economy.”
This news follows Southern California Gas Co.’s announcement earlier this week that it has reached a new agreement with the city to extend the time allotted for displaced residents to return home from 48-hours to eight days, once the leak is resolved once and for all.