State - CA (California)

SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Anaheim to Close

State - California - CALOES - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 17:18

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – District Director J. Adalberto Quijada of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Santa Ana District Office announced today that SBA will close its Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Anaheim at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

“SBA opened the center to provide personalized assistance to California businesses and residents who were affected by the wildfires that began Oct. 8, 2017. Until the center closes, SBA customer service representatives will continue to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their electronic loan application,” said Quijada.

Businesses and residents can meet with SBA representatives on the days and times as indicated below. No appointment is necessary.

ORANGE COUNTY

Disaster Loan Outreach Center

East Anaheim Community Center – Oak Room

8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road

Anaheim, CA  92808

Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Closes 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for property damage is Dec. 11, 2017. The deadline to apply for economic injury is July 12, 2018.

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Cal/OSHA Issues Notice for Worker Safety During Fire Cleanup

State - California - CALOES - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:34

Cal/OSHA has posted materials that provide guidance for employers and workers on working safely during fire cleanup.

Hazards remain after fires have been extinguished and cleanup begins. Employers performing cleanup and other work in areas damaged or destroyed by fire are required to identify and evaluate these hazards, correct any unsafe or unhealthy conditions and provide training to employees.

Potential hazards in fire cleanup areas include but are not limited to the following:

  • Fire from heat sources such as smoldering wood or debris coming into contact with flammable material. Fire extinguishers should be provided at every cleanup job.
  • Electricity from reenergized power lines and electrical equipment after an outage. Precautions must be taken when generators are used at worksites and if water has been near electrical circuits or equipment.
  • Flammable gases from pipes and tanks. Employers must make sure pipes and tanks are properly shut off if they are potentially damaged or leaking.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline or diesel-powered pumps, generators and pressure washers. This equipment may be used for fire cleanup but is prohibited indoors in most situations.
  • Unstable structures from fire damage. Buildings or structures can collapse without warning—assume they are unstable until examined and certified safe for work by a qualified person.
  • Demolition or dismantling damaged structures exposes workers to unexpected collapse, falling objects and hazardous materials. Before commencing work, employers must review and address all demolition safety requirements.
  • Sharp or flying objects from handling, cutting or breaking up debris. Employers must provide and ensure employees wear appropriate eye, hand and foot protection.
  • Confined space hazards include toxic exposure, asphyxiation, electrocution and unguarded moving machinery. Employers must evaluate worksites to determine if there are confined spaces and review all safety requirements for working in confined spaces.
  • Ash, soot and dust can cause irritation and damage to workers’ lungs if inhaled. When exposure would probably cause injury or illness, employers must provide NIOSH-certified respirators designated as N-95 or greater.
  • Asbestos in damaged structures poses serious health hazards to employees. Safety regulations are available onCal/OSHA’s Asbestos Information page.
  • Stored chemicals in potentially damaged or dislodged tanks, drums, pipes and equipment pose hazards to workers. Only workers with the required skills, training and personal protective and emergency equipment are allowed to clean up hazardous spills.
  • Heat illness is a hazard for outdoor workers. Employers must provide potable drinking water free of charge, rest breaks and access to shade to prevent heat illness. More detail is available on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California.Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged tosubscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.

Tips for choosing indoor air cleaner for effective indoor smoke removal in California

State - California - CALOES - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 18:26

The California Air Resources Board continues to receive inquiries about portable air cleaners from those impacted by recent wildfires. In an effort to ensure that consumers are able to identify safe, effective air cleaners that will reduce their exposure to smoke and smoke residue, CARB wants to make more people aware of its list of certified air cleaners and other resources available on its website.

Air cleaners on CARB’s certified list are confirmed as safe and legal for sale in California. These are the only air cleaners that can be legally sold to Californians, as they meet CARB’s portable air cleaner regulation, which places a limit on the amount of ozone the air cleaners can emit.

CARB recommendations for finding an effective air cleaner are available. Guidance for selecting higher efficiency filters for central heating and air systems is also included.

“Air cleaner models that are not listed on our certified list may emit high levels of ozone, a known air pollutant that is the main component of smog, and cannot be sold legally in California,” said Peggy Jenkins, manager of the Indoor Exposure Assessment Section in CARB’s Research Division. “We caution folks dealing with smoke issues not to be taken in by aggressive marketing approaches from companies trying to sell noncertified air cleaners.”

Tiny airborne particles are the primary health concern for those exposed to fire smoke. These particles can be inhaled and deposit on the surface of the deeper parts of the lung, where it can induce tissue damage and lung inflammation.

CARB indoor air cleaner recommendations:

  • Choose a mechanical air cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter because it collects even very small particles well and does not emit ozone or other substances that can be harmful. These air cleaners can dramatically reduce indoor particle levels, in some cases by more than 90 percent.
  • Thick charcoal beds or filters in the air cleaner, especially those with certain coatings, can also help remove some gases produced by fires. This may be helpful for those dealing with odors and for sensitive groups such as older individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
  • If your air cleaner of choice includes an ionizer, UV bulb or other technology in addition to a HEPA filter, be sure it is on CARB’s certified air cleaner list. If it’s on the list, you will know that any ozone it emits is within safe limits.
  • Both particle and charcoal filters in air cleaners should be checked frequently and changed as needed. Owners’ manuals usually indicate the normal replacement frequency; more frequent replacement may be needed during fire smoke conditions.

US EPA Begins Surveys of Household Hazardous Waste in Santa Rosa, Soda Canyon and Silverado

State - California - CALOES - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 12:56

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with representatives from Sonoma and Napa counties, today will begin surveys to identify household hazardous waste (HHW) on residential properties in the neighborhoods of Coffey Park (Santa Rosa) and Soda Canyon and Silverado (Napa).

Specifically, EPA teams will conduct air monitoring and visual observations to identify locations of HHW and other hazardous materials and containers. Once properties are surveyed, HHW collection teams in coming weeks will remove the materials identified during the survey. EPA will continue to expand survey and collection operations over the next few weeks.

HHW includes leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic.  Products such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal.

These efforts will reduce potential threats to public health and safety and allow safe removal of solid waste, debris and ash in the fire-affected areas. EPA will continue to work with cities and counties to keep communities informed about the status of the agency’s HHW collection activities.

EPA has been tasked with a FEMA mission assignment to assess, collect and dispose of HHW, as well hazardous drums and containers, in Sonoma and Napa counties.

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