Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1079 Forest resources: fire prevention grants: advance payments.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.

 Section 705.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

705.5.
 (a) The director may authorize advance payments to a nonprofit organization, a local agency, a special district, or a Native American tribe from a grant awarded pursuant to subdivision (a), (b), (c), (d), (f), or (g) of Provision 2 of Item 3540-001-3228 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2017, including subsequent amendments to that provision. The director may also authorize advance payments to a private forest landowner from a grant awarded pursuant to subdivision (a) of Provision 2 of Item 3540-001-3228 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2017, including subsequent amendments to that provision. No single advance payment shall exceed 25 percent of the total grant award.
(b) (1) The grantee shall expend the funds from the advance payment within six months of receipt, unless the department waives this requirement.
(2) The grantee shall file an accountability report with the department four months from the date of receiving the funds and every four months thereafter.
(c) (1) The department shall provide a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2023, on the outcome of the department’s use of advance payments.
(2) A report submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2024, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4799.05 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4799.05.
 (a) (1) The director may provide grants to, or enter into contracts or other cooperative agreements with, entities, including, but not limited to, private or nongovernmental entities, Native American tribes, or local, state, and federal public agencies, for the implementation and administration of projects and programs to improve forest health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
(2) (A) Until January 1, 2024, the director may authorize advance payments to a nonprofit organization, a local agency, a special district, a private forest landowner, or a Native American tribe from a grant awarded pursuant to this section. No single advance payment shall exceed 25 percent of the total grant award.
(B) (i) The grantee shall expend the funds from the advance payment within six months of receipt, unless the department waives this requirement.
(ii) The grantee shall file an accountability report with the department four months from the date of receiving the funds and every four months thereafter.
(C) (i) The department shall provide a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2023, on the outcome of the department’s use of advance payments.
(ii) A report submitted pursuant to this subparagraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(iii) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under clause (i) is inoperative on January 1, 2027, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(b) Any project or program described in this section that is funded with moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, created pursuant to Section 16428.8 of the Government Code, shall comply with all statutory and program requirements applicable to the use of moneys from the fund.
(c) Moneys appropriated to the department for landscape-scale projects shall be allocated as follows:
(1) To subsidize the removal of small diameter material, especially surface fuels and ladder fuels, as well as dead trees, in order to help develop markets for beneficial uses of the material, including, but not limited to, animal bedding, biochar, cross-laminated timber, mulch, oriented strand board, pulp, post, shredding, and veneer products.
(2) For multiple benefit projects, such as tree thinning, carbon sequestration, forest resilience, and improved ecological outcome projects, including, but not limited to, restoring watershed health and function and supporting biodiversity and wildlife adaptation to climate change. The department shall give grant funding priority to landowners who practice uneven aged forest management with a resilient forest of diverse age, size, and species class within the boundaries of the project and whose activities are conducted pursuant to an approved timber harvest plan, nonindustrial timber harvest plan, or working forest management plan. An application for a grant for a project under this subparagraph shall include a description of how the proposed project will increase average stem diameter and provide other site-specific improvement to forest complexity, as demonstrated by the expansion of the variety of tree age classes and species persisting for a period of at least 50 years. The department shall also give funding priority to landowners who agree to long-term forest management goals prescribed by the department.
(3) For activities on national forest lands to increase tree stand heterogeneity, create forest openings of less than one acre, and increase average tree stand diameter of residual trees. Any grants provided under this subparagraph shall be approved by the department, in collaboration with appropriate state agencies, including the State Air Resources Board.
(d) (1) Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) does not apply to prescribed fire, thinning, or fuel reduction projects undertaken on federal lands to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire that have been reviewed under the federal National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 4321) if either of the following is satisfied:
(A) The primary role of a state or local agency is providing funding or staffing for those projects.
(B) A state or local agency is undertaking those projects pursuant to the federal Good Neighbor Authority (Public Law 113-79) or a stewardship agreement with the federal government entered into pursuant to Public Law 113-79.
(2) Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) does not apply to the issuance of a permit or other project approval by a state or local agency for projects described in paragraph (1).
(3) This section does not alter, affect, or in any way diminish the authority of a state or local agency to impose mitigation measures or conditions on projects described in paragraph (1) pursuant to other laws or regulations.
(4) Commencing December 31, 2019, and annually thereafter, the department shall report to the relevant policy committees of the Legislature the number of times the process in this subdivision was used.
(5) (A) This subdivision shall remain operative only if the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency certifies on or before January 1 of each year that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 or other federal laws that affect the management of federal forest lands in California have not been substantially amended on or after August 31, 2018.
(B) Any CEQA exemption established under this subdivision shall continue in effect for those projects conducted under a National Environmental Policy Act record of decision, finding of no significant impact, or notice of exemption or exclusion that was issued prior to the date by which the Secretary determines that the National Environmental Policy Act or federal forest management laws were substantially amended.
(6) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2023.
SEC. 3.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to implement projects that restore forest health and reduce large, intense wildfires, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.