Today's Law As Amended

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SB-226 Watershed restoration: wildfires: grant program.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that the recent catastrophic wildfires have had a harmful impact on the state’s watersheds.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a “working watershed management plan” and require that before any watershed restoration activities take place pursuant to grant funding provided by the Watershed Restoration Grant Program developed pursuant to Section 71385 of the Public Resources Code, that the plan be approved by the Natural Resources Agency.

SEC. 2.

 Part 4.8 (commencing with Section 71380) is added to Division 34 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

PART 4.8. Watershed Restoration Grant Program

CHAPTER  1. Definitions
71380.
 For purposes of this part, the following terms apply:
(a) “Agency” means the Natural Resources Agency.
(b) “Eligible county” means a county in which a wildfire had occurred in the calendar years 2017 and 2018 and for which a state of emergency was declared by the Governor pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) based on the wildfire.
(c) “Program” means the Watershed Restoration Grant Program developed pursuant to Section 71385.
(d) “Watershed” shall mean any river, watershed, or river system tributary that has been affected by a wildfire that occurred before December 31, 2019.
CHAPTER  2. Grant Program
71385.
 (a) The agency shall develop and implement the Watershed Restoration Grant Program to provide grants to eligible counties for the restoration of watersheds that are within 10 miles of the boundaries of a wildfire that occurred in the county.
(b) Moneys provided pursuant to the program shall serve as matching funds for projects for the restoration of watersheds and shall not exceed 50 percent of the costs of the projects.
(c) (1) Grant funds awarded pursuant to the program to an eligible county shall be disbursed over a period of five years and an eligible county shall not receive more than one million dollars ($1,000,000) per year.
(2) Moneys disbursed each calendar year shall be expended by the eligible county by the end of each calendar year.
(d) An eligible county may expend up to 5 percent of the amount disbursed each year for the county’s administrative costs.
(e) The agency may expend 5 percent of the amount appropriated for the program for the agency’s administrative costs in implementing the program.
71386.
 (a) An eligible county applying for a grant pursuant to the program shall submit an application to the agency by January 1, 2023.
(b) As a part of the application, an eligible county shall include a working watershed management plan that provides a description of projects that will be funded by the program and the milestones and timelines for the projects.
71387.
 An eligible county receiving a grant pursuant to the program shall, by January 1 of each year following a calendar year for which moneys are disbursed pursuant to the grant, submit to the agency a report with all of the following:
(a) A description of the properties on which activities funded by the grant have been undertaken in the previous calendar year. The description shall include photographic images of the properties before and after the completion of the activities and a description of water quality, including test results, of the properties before and after the completion of the activities.
(b) A description of activities funded by the program undertaken in the previous calendar year.
(c) A breakdown of the costs of the projects funded by the program in the previous calendar year.
(d) A third-party inspection report on the results of the activities undertaken in the previous calendar year.
71388.
 Projects funded by a grant awarded pursuant to this chapter are not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)).
SEC. 3.
 (a) The sum of seventy-five million dollars ($75,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the Natural Resources Agency for purposes of Part 4.8 (commencing with Section 71380) of Division 34 of the Public Resources Code.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 16304 of the Government Code, the amount appropriated pursuant to subdivision (a) is available for encumbrance for five years after the date upon which it first became available for encumbrance.