Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2441 Climate change: Safeguarding California Plan: Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The state has been a leader both in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change and in helping state agencies and local communities prepare plans to adapt to climate change, including establishing a regional climate collaborative program pursuant to Part 3.6 (commencing with Section 71130) of Division 34 of the Public Resources Code to build local climate adaptation capacity, preparing a state climate adaptation strategy known as the Safeguarding California Plan pursuant to Part 3.7 (commencing with Section 71150) of Division 34 of the Public Resources Code, and establishing the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program pursuant to Part 4.5 (commencing with Section 71350) of Division 34 of the Public Resources Code to coordinate regional and local efforts with state climate adaptation strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
(b) One of the most significant impacts of climate change is extreme heat and high heat events, which result in increased deaths and a variety of heat-related illnesses, such as asthma. An additional 650 deaths are attributed to the heat wave of 2006, and a 2018 study by the State Department of Public Health and the California Environmental Protection Agency, “Preparing California for Extreme Heat: guidance and recommendations,” found that a predicted increase in statewide average annual temperatures from 1.5°F in 2025 to 4.6°F in 2050 would result in up to 4,300 excess deaths in 2025 and up to 11,300 excess deaths in 2050.
(c) Vulnerable populations and residents in disadvantaged communities in both urban and rural settings bear a disproportionate share of climate impacts, including extreme heat, and have fewer resources than the general population to adapt to extreme heat.
(d) To date, funding for the state’s climate adaptation efforts have focused primarily on responding to impacts in natural settings, such as wildfires, sea level rise, flooding, and drought.
(e) The Strategic Growth Council is the state’s lead agency for coordinating the state’s efforts, among other things, to meet the goals of the state’s climate adaptation strategies and priorities, including by managing and awarding grants to support the planning and development of sustainable communities.
(f) It is in the interest of the people of the state to provide support to local communities to implement measures that will reduce the impact of extreme heat events and help those communities better adapt and respond to extreme heat and related climate change impacts for the protection of public health. It is further in the interest of the people of the state that the Strategic Growth Council be the lead state agency in coordinating the state’s response to extreme heat and in its efforts to assist local communities in their response to extreme heat.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 71154 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

71154.
 To address the vulnerabilities identified in the plan, state agencies shall work to maximize, where applicable and feasible, all of the following objectives:
(a) Educating the public about the consequences of climate change, such as sea-level  sea level  rise, extreme heat and  weather events, the urban heat island effect, habitat loss, wildfire, drought, threats to infrastructure and agriculture, worsening air and water quality, and public health impacts.
(b) Ensuring there is a continued repository for scientific data on climate change and climate adaptation in the state in order to facilitate educated state and local policy decisions and to help identify primary risks from climate change to residents, property, communities, and natural systems across the state.
(c) (1) Promoting the use of the plan to inform planning decisions and ensure that state investments consider climate change impacts, as well as promote the use of natural systems and natural infrastructure, when developing physical infrastructure to address adaptation.
(2) When developing infrastructure to address adaptation, where feasible, a project alternative should be developed that utilizes existing natural features and ecosystem processes or the restoration of natural features and ecosystem processes to meet the project’s goals.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “natural infrastructure” means using natural ecological systems or processes to reduce vulnerability to climate change related hazards, or other related climate change effects, while increasing the long-term adaptive capacity of coastal and inland areas by perpetuating or restoring ecosystem services. This includes, but is not limited to, the conservation, preservation, or sustainable management of any form of aquatic or terrestrial vegetated open space, such as beaches, dunes, tidal marshes, reefs, seagrass, parks, rain gardens, and urban tree canopies. It also includes systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes, such as permeable pavements, bioswales, and other engineered systems, such as levees that are combined with restored natural systems, to provide clean water, conserve ecosystem values and functions, and provide a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife.
(d) Encouraging regional collaborative planning efforts to address regional climate change impacts and adaptation strategies.
(e) Promoting drought resiliency through an integrated water supply, delivery, and capture system that is coordinated and that can be resilient to a multiyear drought scenario while protecting water quality and public health. Establishing both drought preparation programs, which will help create sustainable water systems in the future, and immediate drought response programs, which will reduce water demand or increase supply within one to five years of any declared drought.
(f) Building resilient communities by developing urban forestry and urban  greening projects that reduce air pollution and heat reflection in urban areas and create livable, sustainable communities in urban cores to promote infill development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
(g) Building resilient communities by developing projects, including, but not limited to, paving and roofing projects, that incorporate, to the maximum extent feasible, cool surface materials that reduce heat island effects, reflect heat and public heat exposure, reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase adaptability to climate change.
(h) Investing in communities to develop community-specific climate resilience plans and to construct new facilities and retrofit existing facilities that will serve as community resilience centers to mitigate the impacts of local climate risks. Community resilience centers may include, but are not limited to, hydration stations, cooling centers, clean air centers, and community evacuation and emergency response centers.
(g) (i)  Protecting and enhancing habitat, species strongholds, and wildlife corridors that are critical to the preservation of species that are at risk from the consequences of climate change.
(h) (j)  Promoting actions to ensure healthy soils and sustainable agriculture; inform reliable transportation planning; improve emergency management response across sectors; ensure sufficient, reliable, and safe energy; improve capacity to reduce and respond to public health threats; address the impacts of climate change on disadvantaged communities; and protect cultural resources from the impacts of climate change.

SEC. 3.

 Section 71356 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

71356.
 (a) Within one year of an update to the Safeguarding California Plan, the Office of Emergency Services, in coordination with the Natural Resources Agency, the State Department of Public Health, the  office, and relevant public and private entities, shall review and update, as necessary, the Adaptation Planning Guide to provide tools and guidance to regional and local governments and agencies in creating and implementing climate adaptation and community resiliency plans and projects. An Adaptation Planning Guide update shall be informed by the climate adaptation clearinghouse established pursuant to Section 71360 and the scientific assessments and recommendations in the most recent update of the Safeguarding California Plan. An Adaptation Planning Guide update shall consider the nexus between climate adaptation, community resiliency, public safety, and security, provide information and planning support for assessing climate vulnerabilities across impact sectors and regions and developing adaptation strategies that can be tailored to meet local needs, and include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Guidance for coordinating adaptation planning activities among state and local governments and regional collaboratives.
(2) Adaptation planning guidance and strategies for natural hazards exacerbated by climate change.
(3) Guidance for conducting vulnerability assessments and identifying risk reduction strategies for communities.
(4) Identification of climate impact regions and descriptions of climate impacts to be considered for each region.
(5) Assistance with the interpretation of climate science as it relates to local and regional impacts.
(b) As part of updating the Adaptation Planning Guide, the Office of Emergency Services, in consultation with the office and, as needed, with the advisory council created pursuant to Section 71358, shall hold public meetings in the northern, southern, and central regions of the state to obtain input from the public and leaders in local and regional climate preparedness.

SEC. 4.

 Part 4.6 (commencing with Section 71361) is added to Division 34 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

PART 4.6. Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program

71361.
 For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Council” means the Strategic Growth Council.
(b) “Eligible entities” include nonprofit organizations or coalitions of nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, community development corporations or financial institutions, local and regional public agencies, joint powers authorities, and tribal governments, that demonstrate multistakeholder partnership in the development and implementation of a project.
(c) “Program” means the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program established in Section 71361.5.
71361.5.
 The Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program is hereby established and shall be administered by the council. The purpose of the program is to coordinate the state’s efforts to address extreme heat and to facilitate the implementation of regional and state climate change planning into effective projects to do the following:
(a) Mitigate the impacts of extreme heat through the use of reflective surface materials in the built environment and other activities consistent with the purposes of the program. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Cool roofs to increase solar reflectance and reduce structural temperatures.
(2) Cool pavements on roadways and other active transportation surfaces and school playgrounds to increase solar reflectance, reduce heat transmitted, and improve water permeability.
(3) Cool building surfaces.
(4) Other cool surface materials that increase shade, increase solar reflectance, or otherwise reduce heat island impacts.
(5) Building design, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, that reduce heat.
(b) Reduce the public health risks of extreme heat and related climate change impacts and enhance the resilience of affected populations by establishing community resilience centers and supporting community resilience planning efforts and other activities consistent with the purposes of the program. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
(1) The construction of new facilities or the retrofit of existing facilities that will serve as community resilience centers, including hydration stations, cooling centers, clean air centers, respite centers, community evacuation and emergency response centers, and similar facilities to mitigate the public health impacts of extreme heat and related climate change impacts on local populations.
(2) (A) Local planning activities to adapt community infrastructure, the built environment and natural systems to the impacts of climate change, including heat action plans to prepare for and respond to extreme heat events.
(B) The updating of local plans, including general plans, local coastal programs, local hazard mitigation plans, heat action plans, and other local plans to improve community resilience to the impacts of climate change.
(C) Public education campaigns and other measures to increase awareness of the public health risks of extreme heat, the services available to reduce those risks, and further opportunities to reduce those risks.
71362.
 (a) To maximize the effectiveness of projects described in subdivision (a) of Section 71361.5, the council shall consult with the Natural Resources Agency on climate resilience, including the agency’s urban forestry and greening program, the Department of Transportation, the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, the State Department of Public Health, and other state agencies, as appropriate, in awarding grants to those projects.
(b) To maximize the effectiveness of projects described in subdivision (b) of Section 71361.5, the council shall seek input from, and promote interagency coordination among public agencies, as appropriate, including, but not limited to, the State Department of Public Health, and local and regional public health agencies.
(c) In administering the program, the council shall be informed by the California’s Fifth Climate Change Assessment and any subsequent climate assessments, the climate science research programs administered by the council, and other relevant climate science research.
71362.5.
 (a) The council shall manage and award competitive grants for extreme heat and community resilience projects to eligible entities through an application process.
(b) Before awarding grants under the program, the council shall adopt guidelines that include all of the following:
(1) Guidelines for awarding grants, including criteria for eligibility.
(2) Criteria for determining the amount of the grant to be awarded.
(3) Provision of technical assistance to prepare grant applications.
(4) Requirements for grant recipients to report on project progress, including a final report at the conclusion of the project on measurable results of the project, including, but not limited to, public health benefits and improved health outcomes of the population served by the project.
(5) Provision for the recovery of funds from an applicant that fails to complete the project for which financial assistance was awarded.
(c) In developing guidelines pursuant to subdivision (b), the council may refer to guidelines adopted for other funding programs in this division.
(d) In awarding grants, the council shall give priority to projects that do any of the following:
(1) Serve disadvantaged communities, as identified in Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) Demonstrate participation in a regional climate collaborative program established in accordance with Part 3.6 (commencing with Section 71130).
(3) Serve those populations most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat, as determined by the relevant local health department.
71363.
 The Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, shall be expended by the council for the implementation of the program.