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AB-1486 California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System.(2011-2012)

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Assembly Bill No. 1486
CHAPTER 690

An act to add and repeal Section 21080.25 of the Public Resources Code, relating to the environment, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Approved by Governor  September 28, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  September 28, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1486, Lara. California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System.
(1) The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report (EIR) on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.
This bill would, until January 1, 2017, exempt from CEQA the design, site acquisition, construction, operation, or maintenance of certain structures and equipment of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), consisting of a long-term evolution broadband mobile data system and a land mobile radio system, if certain criteria are met at the individual project site. Because a lead agency, which may include a local agency, is required to determine whether a project qualifies for this exemption, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute because of unique circumstances surrounding the implementation of the LA-RICS.
(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
(4) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 21080.25 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21080.25.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Antenna support structures” means lattice towers, monopoles, and roof-mounts.
(2) “Habitat of significant value” includes all of the following:
(A) Wildlife habitat of national, statewide, or regional importance.
(B) Habitat identified as candidate, fully protected, sensitive, or species of special status by a state or federal agency.
(C) Habitat essential to the movement of resident or migratory wildlife.
(3) “LA-RICS” means the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System, consisting of a long-term evolution broadband mobile data system, a land mobile radio system, or both.
(4) “LMR” means a land mobile radio system.
(5) “LTE” means a long-term evolution broadband mobile data system.
(6) “Riparian area” means an area that is transitional between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, that is distinguished by gradients in biophysical conditions, ecological processes, and biota, and that meets the following criteria:
(A) Is an area through which surface and subsurface hydrology connect waterbodies with their adjacent uplands.
(B) Is adjacent to perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral streams, lakes, or estuarine or marine shorelines.
(C) Includes those portions of terrestrial ecosystems that significantly influence exchanges of energy and matter with aquatic ecosystems.
(7) “Wetlands” has the same meaning as defined in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Manual, Part 660 FW 2 (June 21, 1993).
(8) “Wildlife habitat” means the ecological communities upon which wild animals, birds, plants, fish, amphibians, and invertebrates depend for their conservation and protection.
(b) If all the criteria specified in subdivision (c) are met at the individual project site, this division does not apply to the design, site acquisition, construction, operation, or maintenance of the following elements of the LA-RICS:
(1) Antennas, including microwave dishes and arrays.
(2) Antenna support structures.
(3) Equipment enclosures.
(4) Central system switch facilities.
(5) Associated foundations and equipment.
(c) As a condition of the exemption specified in subdivision (b), all of the following criteria shall be met at the individual project site:
(1) The project site is publicly owned and already contains one or both of the following:
(A) An antenna support structure and one or both of the following components:
(i) Antennas.
(ii) Equipment enclosures.
(B) A police, sheriff, or fire station, or other public facility that transmits or receives public safety radio signals.
(2) Construction and implementation at the project site would not have a substantial adverse impact on wetlands, riparian areas, or habitat of significant value, and would not harm any species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.), the Native Plant Protection Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1900) of the Fish and Game Code), or the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code), or the habitat of those species.
(3) Construction and implementation of the project at the site would not have a substantial adverse impact on historical resources pursuant to Section 21084.1.
(4) Operation of the project at the site would not exceed the maximum permissible exposure standards established by the Federal Communications Commission, as set forth in Sections 1.1307 and 1.1310 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(5) Any new LTE antenna support structures or LMR antenna support structures would comply with applicable state and federal height restrictions, and any height restrictions mandated by an applicable comprehensive land use plan adopted by an airport land use commission. The new monopoles shall not exceed 70 feet in height without appurtenances and attachments, and new lattice towers shall not exceed 180 feet in height without appurtenances and attachments.
(6) Each new central system switch is located within an existing enclosed structure at a publicly owned project site, or is housed at an existing private communications facility.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

  The Legislature finds and declares that a special law is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique circumstances surrounding the implementation of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 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 Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure that the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) is able to meet strict deadlines that are required to access millions of dollars in federal grants that have been awarded to the LA-RICS, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.