CSAC Bulletin Article

Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Highlight Bills 2019-2020

February 21, 2019

The Legislature has begun accepting hundreds of introduced bills over the past few weeks. The CSAC Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources (AENR) Policy team has been watching and analyzing these bills as they have been introduced. Over the next several weeks AENR will post bills in the bulletin related to wildfire, disaster, water, cannabis and other AENR topics. Today’s bulletin features recently introduced bills from resource recovery and waste management, energy, outdoor recreation and greenhouse gas emission reduction. CSAC would greatly appreciate any feedback on these bills and how they might impact your county. Please send any feedback to AENR Legislative Analyst Nick Cronenwett at ncronenwett@counties.org. You may also call or text 916-224-9133:

AB 1877 (Limon): Would require Cal Office of Emergency Services, local governing bodies, and county operational areas to translate emergency communications into the most commonly spoken languages in the county during disasters. Emergency communications listed in the bill include television and radio, wireless alerts, emergency briefings and conference facilitated by local law enforcement.

AB 161 (Ting): This bill would require receipts for food, alcohol and provisions of services to be provided electronically instead of on paper. The bill includes fines as enforcement provisions for business and entities that do not comply.

SB 143 (Skinner):  This bill would allow an authorized junk dealer or recycler to pay for nonferrous material by using a prepaid gift card in accordance with specific requirements.

 AB 257 (Mathis): This bill would create a 5-year woody biomass rural county collection and disposal pilot program that would be administered by Cal Recycle. The bill would provide funding to counties of 250,000 or less for conducting community collection days were constituents could dispose of woody biomass free of charge. The bill would require counties that received funds to dispose of the woody biomass in a way that results in fewer greenhouse gases than if the biomass would have been disposed of otherwise. The bill would also appropriate $10 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to create this program.

AB 209 (Limon): This bill would require the Director of Parks and Recreation to establish the Outdoor Equity Grants Program, to increase the ability of underserved and at-risk populations to participate in outdoor environmental educational experiences at state parks and other public lands where outdoor environmental education programs take place. The bill would require the director to give priority for funding to outdoor environmental education programs that primarily provide outreach to and serve students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, foster youth, or pupils of limited English proficiency. The bill would authorize the director to accept private funds to support the program. The bill would establish the California Outdoor Equity Account in the State Parks and Recreation Fund and would require any private funds donated for the program and any funds appropriated by the Legislature for purposes of the program to be deposited into the account.

AB 293 (E. Garcia): Existing law creates the Compliance Offsets Protocol Task Force to provide guidance to the California Air Resources Board in approving new offset protocols for a market-based compliance mechanism for the purposes of increasing offset projects with direct environmental benefits in the state while prioritizing disadvantaged communities, Native American or tribal lands, and rural and agricultural regions. This bill would require that task force to consider the development and adoption of additional greenhouse gas emission offset protocols, including, but not limited to, protocols for the enhanced management or conservation of agricultural and natural lands, and for the enhancement and restoration of wetlands.

SB 288 (Wiener): This bill would, by January 1, 2021, require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the governing board of each local publicly owned electric utility to, among other things, create one or more tariffs that offer fair compensation for customer-sited energy storage systems that export electricity to the electrical grid and to consider one or more tariffs for customer-sited energy storage and renewable energy systems to support grid reliability and community resiliency in the event of emergencies or grid outages. The bill would also require the PUC to collaborate with the Independent System Operator to modify existing tariffs to remove barriers to the participation of customer-sited energy resources in programs intended to provide energy, capacity, and ancillary services for the bulk power system. The bill would require the PUC and the governing board of each local publicly owned electric utility to ensure that customers with onsite renewable energy or energy storage systems can take certain related actions and are not subject to discriminatory fees or charges.

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