CSAC Bulletin Article

AENR Request for Bill Feedback

June 11, 2020

CSAC is requesting feedback regarding how the following bills might impact counties. Policy areas for these bills include wildfire, PSPS, resource recovery, and flood control. Please email Legislative Analyst, Nick Cronenwett at ncronenwett@counties.org with any thoughts or feedback.

Wildfire Bills

AB 2386 (Bigelow): This bill would require the Office of Emergency Services to annually review 10 disaster council plans to determine if the plans substantially conform to or exceed specified recommendations made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The bill would require the office to prioritize in its review a plan submitted from a county determined to be at a high risk of wildfire disaster.

AB 3074 (Friedman): This bill would improve resistance against ember ignitions for structures in Very High Fire Severity Zones. Specially, this bill would require the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to promulgate regulations and guidance, in consultation with Cal Fire, for the zero to five foot range around structures in high fire threat areas and would require local agencies to provide notification to residents that could be impacted by these improved defensible space requirements.

AB 3164 (Friedman): This bill would require Cal Fire to create a public wildfire risk model using information from the state responsibility areas and local responsibility areas. The bill also creates an advisory committee, which would include representatives from local government, to help develop this public model.

SB 1348 (Stern): This bill would require the Director of Cal Fire to designate areas around the state as moderate and high fire severity zones, in addition to the Very High Fire Severity Zone as put forth in current statute. This bill would also require Cal Fire to extend the use of Section 701A.3 of the California Building Code for new buildings in these newly designated fire severity areas. The bill would also require Cal Fire to develop a fine schedule for non-compliance with vegetation management that would be in addition to the current lien process. Finally, the bill would also require the Department to create a program to help prepare documents for landscape scale ecological restoration and fire resiliency projects on national forest lands that are at least 50,000 acres.


PSPS Bills

AB 2178 (Levine): This bill would allow state and local governments to declare Public Safety Power Shutoff de-energizations (PSPS) as a state of emergency. CSAC is requesting examples of how this authority could be used or how it could be helpful to improve responses to PSPS events.

SB 801 (Glazer): This bill would require electrical corporations to provide backup power generation or financial resources for back power generation to medical baseline customers in high fire threat areas. The bill would also require electrical corporations to work with local community disability rights advocates to create this program.

SB 1058 (Hueso): This bill would require the commission to evaluate the extent to which federal reductions in lifeline telephone service subsidies and the lack of access to reliable, affordable broadband service would result in rates limiting access to basic voice service. The bill would also require internet service providers to file an emergency operations plan with the CPUC every year. 

SB 1215 (Stern): The bill would require the CPUC, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to create a database of critical facilities and critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits, and identify with respect to each whether it serves a high fire-threat district or vulnerable transmission area. The bill also requires collaboration with electrical corporations, CCAs, and electricity service providers to collaborate with local governments within its service area to identify critical circuits and microgrid projects. The bill would authorize the above listed entities and local publicly owned electric utilities to use capacity resulting from a microgrid project to satisfy specified resource adequacy requirements. Finally, the bill would require the CPUC and the Independent System Operator to develop a methodology to account for the resource adequacy value of distributed storage no later than March 31, 2021.

SB 1312 (McGuire): This bill would require the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to revise the Electric Tariff Rule 20 program to additionally authorize and fund the undergrounding of electrical and communication infrastructure within certain commission-designated high fire-threat areas for purposes of wildfire mitigation. In addition, the bill also includes provisions for the CPUC to create a standardized method of evaluating the reasonableness of the use of Public Safety Power Shutdown (PSPS), as well as transparent reporting requirements on the state of infrastructure related to a PSPS event. Finally, the bill also requires investor owned utilities (IOUs) to notify the CPUC, the Office of Emergency Services, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection of a potential public safety power shutoff.


Flood & Public Works Infrastructure Bills

AB 1958 (Cooper): This bill would prohibit a person from concealing, defacing, destroying, modifying, cutting, altering, or physically or visually obstructing any levee along a river or bypass forming part of any flood control plan, or any other facility of the State Plan of Flood Control, including, but not limited to, any and all associated rights of way, without permission of the board. This is an urgency measure and would require a 2/3rds vote.

SB 865 (Hill): This bill would provide that the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board is also known as the “Dig Safe Board” and would make conforming changes to references in the act. The bill would require the board, on and after January 1, 2022, to be within the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety within the Natural Resources Agency, as established pursuant to the California Energy Infrastructure Safety Act. The bill would require policy committee review at least once every 3 years.


Resource Recovery & Hazardous Waste Management Bills

AB 2333 (Quirk): This bill sets requirements for local health officers overseeing remedial action at hazardous waste release sites and alters state oversight procedures. The bill imposes requirements on local health officers for remedial action agreements, electronic recordkeeping, public notification, and notification to the state. The bill also provides specified procedures to the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) or the local regional water quality control board (regional water board) when they elect to retain oversight authority over a waste release. CSAC is requesting feedback from local health officers on how this bill would impact their oversight of remedial actions.

AB 2920 (Obernolte): This bill would allow retail hazardous waste generators and transporters to use consolidated manifesting procedures for retail hazardous waste collected from retailers engaged in business in the state.  Specifically, this bill defines “retail hazardous waste” as unsold consumer products in the original retail sales packaging determined by the retailer to be waste, and includes bleach and other cleaning products, pool chemicals, laundry detergent, cosmetics, personal hygiene products, nail polish, aerosol products, cat litter, potting soil, herbicides, and fertilizers. The bill also requires incompatible materials to be kept segregated and managed appropriately in separate containers. CSAC would like feedback on whether or not this bill would impact local management of CAL EPA’s Unified Program for hazardous waste.

AB 2959 (Calderon): This bill would allow counties to grant exclusive franchise agreements for the hauling of solid waste from supermarkets, grocers, restaurants, and other retail food establishments. CSAC is engaged in the development and implementation of Cal Recycle’s SB 1383 organic waste diversion regulations. We are would like feedback on how this bill might impact local solid waste hauler franchise agreements and if this could have an impact on developing organic waste diversion programs.

AB 3163 (Salas): This bill would add methane that is produced from the noncombustion thermal conversion of eligible biomass feedstock to the definition of ”biomethane” for purposes of gas utility biomethane procurement targets. Under SB 1383, counties are required to procure a certain amount products that are derived from diverted organic waste. CSAC would like feedback on how this bill might impact your county plans on implementation of SB 1383 procurement targets.

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