AENR Bills of Interest
June 9, 2016
SB 1340 – (Wolk) Request Comments
As Amended April 5, 2016
Enacted in 1990, the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act (Act) required the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to prepare a Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. Since then the Act has been amended and the model ordinance has been updated. However, the revised Act continues to require all local agencies to adopt either the updated model water efficient landscape ordinance or an ordinance that is at least as effective in conserving water as the updated model ordinance. If the local agency does not make a selection, the model ordinance shall apply within the jurisdiction of the local agency.
SB 1340, by Senator Wolk, would add to the model water efficient landscape ordinance a permit requirement for the installation or replacement of specified automatic irrigation systems, or the expansion of these systems to increase the irrigated area by 25% or more, for a landscape project on or after July 1, 2018. Specifically, the bill would apply to nonresidential landscapes, except a cemeteries and residential landscapes of 10,000 square feet or greater. The bill also provides the local governing body with the authority to enact an ordinance to impose fees for these permits.
SB 1340 is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on Tuesday, June 14. CSAC staff would appreciate county comments on this measure.
SB 1318 (Wolk) – Oppose
As Amended June 1, 2016
SB 1318, by Senator Wolk, would impose a number of new responsibilities on Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCO) to facilitate the provision of safe drinking water and wastewater facilities to disadvantaged unincorporated communities (DUCs). Included among these requirements is a provision that would require LAFCOs to develop and implement accessibility plans that address any existing service inefficiencies or needs within any identified disadvantaged unincorporated community.
In addition, the bill as recently amended would require cities and counties to incorporate any adopted accessibility plan into their general plan and any update of the land use element of its general plan.
In a joint letter submitted to Senator Wolk, CSAC and RCRC express their agreement with the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO) that SB 1318 does not address the root causes of the lack of acceptable drinking water and wastewater facilities to the DUCs, which are infrastructure deficiencies and a lack of operational and maintenance funding. Unfortunately, the provision of funding for all of the bill’s associated costs continues to remain elusive.
SB 1318 is awaiting assignment to a policy committee in the Assembly.
AB 2616 (Burke) – Oppose Unless Amended
As Amended May 31, 2016
AB 2616, by Assembly Member Burke, would increase the Coastal Commission membership by three members who are required to work directly with communities in the state that are most burdened by, and vulnerable to, high levels of pollution and issues of environmental justice. In addition, the bill allows the Commission to address environmental justice concerns. CSAC supports considering environmental justice in aspects of planning and decision-making. However, we have a concern with adding additional non-elected members to the Coastal Commission, thus upsetting the negotiated balance of public verse elected Coastal Commission Members.
Coastal Commissioners are charged with implementing all aspects of the Coastal Act. They are all generalists and do not representative specific interests and are not appointed for specific areas of expertise. They are appointed as either an elected official from one of the six coastal zones (city councilperson or county supervisor) or as a member of the public. There are six public members and six elected officials. This was a negotiated balance to ensure that there was accountability at the local level as Coastal Commission decisions have impacts on development in cities and counties as well as the preservation of the Coast and access to this precious resource. CSAC has proposed amendments that would add one Advisory Committee Member representing the environmental justice community as opposed to three additional Coastal Commissioners. There are currently three non-voting ex officio members from the Natural Resources Agency, Public Lands Commission and the Business, Housing and Transportation Agency. This would allow existing Commissioners the opportunity to receive information specific to environmental justice concerns, while maintaining the existing makeup of the Commission.
AB 45 (Mullin) – Oppose
As Amended January 21, 2016
AB 45, by Assembly Member Mullin, was rescheduled for hearing on June 29th in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. The bill was last amended on January 21st. However, conversations with the author and proponents indicate that the bill will most likely be substantially amended to deal specifically with pharmaceutical and sharp take-back programs. It is our understanding that AB 45 may soon be amended to preempt local governments from enacting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) ordinances tailored to the needs of individual communities. Amendments are currently not available.
Counties have exhibited leadership on this issue, developing and implementing EPR pharmaceutical programs at the local level that have been upheld by the courts despite numerous challenges from industry. We understand that local governments do have a role to play and would be interested in a broader discussion about what a statewide model ordinance might look like for pharmaceutical and sharps take-back programs. CSAC strongly opposes any preemption of local ordinances in this bill as this conversation and broader stakeholder process has yet to occur.
PACE Energy Programs
AB 2693 (Dababneh) – Oppose Unless Amended
As Amended June 6, 2016
AB 2693, by Assembly Member Dababneh, would make changes to the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The bill was amended recently to remove language pertaining to priority lien status, unfortunately AB 2693 continues to contain provisions that unnecessarily impose hurdles that could negatively impact consumers interested in participating in PACE.
CSAC and the League of Cities (LCC) strongly support greater disclosure and transparency to consumers of PACE products, which will ensure that property owners are better educated about PACE products. We support the direction recent amendments take with regard to disclosure and public education. However, we will continue to work with the author and sponsors on additional amendments to create a true disclosure and transparency bill. To that end, CSAC and LCC would like to see AB 2693 amended to remove the underwriting requirements and any other provisions unrelated to consumer protection, disclosure, and education. This bill will be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on June 15, 2016.