AENR Bills of Interest
June 23, 2016
AB 45 (Mullin) – Oppose
As Amended January 21, 2016
AB 45, by Assembly Member Mullin, will be heard 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 unclear if the bill will be further narrowed to deal with a pilot program or a specific region. We encourage all those jurisdictions that have expressed concern or opposition to the measure to contact the Senate Environmental Quality Committee to make these objections known.
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. This bill will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, June 27th.
AB 1575 (Bonta) – Support if Amended
As Amended on June 22, 2016
AB 1575, by Assembly Member Rob Bonta, passed out of the Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee on Tuesday, June 21. This measure would make a number of revisions to the Medical Marijuana Regulatory and Safety Act (MMRSA). While a number of the bill’s provisions address county concerns, CSAC, RCRC and UCC are seeking additional amendments that would:
- Revise the definition of an owner of a medical marijuana facility to ensure that it covers all individuals in a position to exercise functional control over the facility
- Require medical cannabis research and development facilities to have a valid local license that expressly authorizes such research, and would also require medical cannabis used for research purposes to be subject to track and trace requirements.
- Address specified medical privacy issues.
- Clarify that persons engaged in conduct exempted from criminal penalties must be licensed under the MMRSA.
AB 1575 now moves to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.
SB 1317 (Wolk) – Oppose
As Amended June 20, 2016
SB 1317, by Senator Lois Wolk, would require a city or county overlying a basin designated as a high or medium priority basin to establish a process for the issuance of groundwater extraction permit, which is yet to be defined, for the development of a groundwater extraction facility in order to prevent that facility from contributing to or creating an undesirable result.
SB 1317 infringes upon local control and perhaps more importantly diverts scarce resources away from the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) by local agencies toward a more narrow and prescriptive process that may not address the issue in any given local jurisdiction. SGMA was premised on local control and the “one size fits all” approach as outlined in SB 1317 would undermine both the premise and spirit of SGMA.