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AB-52 Native Americans: California Environmental Quality Act.(2013-2014)

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AB52:v86#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 52
CHAPTER 532

An act to amend Section 5097.94 of, and to add Sections 21073, 21074, 21080.3.1, 21080.3.2, 21082.3, 21083.09, 21084.2, and 21084.3 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to Native Americans.

[ Approved by Governor  September 25, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  September 25, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 52, Gatto. Native Americans: California Environmental Quality Act.
Existing law, the Native American Historic Resource Protection Act, establishes a misdemeanor for unlawfully and maliciously excavating upon, removing, destroying, injuring, or defacing a Native American historic, cultural, or sacred site, that is listed or may be eligible for listing in the California Register of Historic Resources.
The California Environmental Quality Act, referred to as CEQA, requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report 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. CEQA requires the lead agency to provide a responsible agency with specified notice and opportunities to comment on a proposed project. CEQA requires the Office of Planning and Research to prepare and develop, and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to certify and adopt, guidelines for the implementation of CEQA that include, among other things, criteria for public agencies to following in determining whether or not a proposed project may have a significant effect on the environment.
This bill would specify that a project with an effect that may cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a tribal cultural resource, as defined, is a project that may have a significant effect on the environment. The bill would require a lead agency to begin consultation with a California Native American tribe that is traditionally and culturally affiliated with the geographic area of the proposed project, if the tribe requested to the lead agency, in writing, to be informed by the lead agency of proposed projects in that geographic area and the tribe requests consultation, prior to determining whether a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, or environmental impact report is required for a project. The bill would specify examples of mitigation measures that may be considered to avoid or minimize impacts on tribal cultural resources. The bill would make the above provisions applicable to projects that have a notice of preparation or a notice of negative declaration filed or mitigated negative declaration on or after July 1, 2015. The bill would require the Office of Planning and Research to revise on or before July 1, 2016, the guidelines to separate the consideration of tribal cultural resources from that for paleontological resources and add consideration of tribal cultural resources. By requiring the lead agency to consider these effects relative to tribal cultural resources and to conduct consultation with California Native American tribes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law establishes the Native American Heritage Commission and vests the commission with specified powers and duties.
This bill would additionally require the commission to provide each California Native American tribe, as defined, on or before July 1, 2016, with a list of all public agencies that may be a lead agency within the geographic area in which the tribe is traditionally and culturally affiliated, the contact information of those agencies, and information on how the tribe may request those public agencies to notify the tribe of projects within the jurisdiction of those public agencies for the purposes of requesting consultation.
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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Current state law provides a limited measure of protection for sites, features, places, objects, and landscapes with cultural value to California Native American tribes.
(2) Existing law provides limited protection for Native American sacred places, including, but not limited to, places of worship, religious or ceremonial sites, and sacred shrines.
(3) The California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) does not readily or directly include California Native American tribes’ knowledge and concerns. This has resulted in significant environmental impacts to tribal cultural resources and sacred places, including cumulative impacts, to the detriment of California Native American tribes and California’s environment.
(4) As California Native Americans have used, and continue to use, natural settings in the conduct of religious observances, ceremonies, and cultural practices and beliefs, these resources reflect the tribes’ continuing cultural ties to the land and their traditional heritages.
(5) Many of these archaeological, historical, cultural, and sacred sites are not located within the current boundaries of California Native American reservations and rancherias, and therefore are not covered by the protectionist policies of tribal governments.
(b) In recognition of California Native American tribal sovereignty and the unique relationship of California local governments and public agencies with California Native American tribal governments, and respecting the interests and roles of project proponents, it is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this act, to accomplish all of the following:
(1) Recognize that California Native American prehistoric, historic, archaeological, cultural, and sacred places are essential elements in tribal cultural traditions, heritages, and identities.
(2) Establish a new category of resources in the California Environmental Quality Act called “tribal cultural resources” that considers the tribal cultural values in addition to the scientific and archaeological values when determining impacts and mitigation.
(3) Establish examples of mitigation measures for tribal cultural resources that uphold the existing mitigation preference for historical and archaeological resources of preservation in place, if feasible.
(4) Recognize that California Native American tribes may have expertise with regard to their tribal history and practices, which concern the tribal cultural resources with which they are traditionally and culturally affiliated. Because the California Environmental Quality Act calls for a sufficient degree of analysis, tribal knowledge about the land and tribal cultural resources at issue should be included in environmental assessments for projects that may have a significant impact on those resources.
(5) In recognition of their governmental status, establish a meaningful consultation process between California Native American tribal governments and lead agencies, respecting the interests and roles of all California Native American tribes and project proponents, and the level of required confidentiality concerning tribal cultural resources, at the earliest possible point in the California Environmental Quality Act environmental review process, so that tribal cultural resources can be identified, and culturally appropriate mitigation and mitigation monitoring programs can be considered by the decisionmaking body of the lead agency.
(6) Recognize the unique history of California Native American tribes and uphold existing rights of all California Native American tribes to participate in, and contribute their knowledge to, the environmental review process pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(7) Ensure that local and tribal governments, public agencies, and project proponents have information available, early in the California Environmental Quality Act environmental review process, for purposes of identifying and addressing potential adverse impacts to tribal cultural resources and to reduce the potential for delay and conflicts in the environmental review process.
(8) Enable California Native American tribes to manage and accept conveyances of, and act as caretakers of, tribal cultural resources.
(9) Establish that a substantial adverse change to a tribal cultural resource has a significant effect on the environment.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5097.94 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5097.94.
 The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To identify and catalog places of special religious or social significance to Native Americans, and known graves and cemeteries of Native Americans on private lands. The identification and cataloguing of known graves and cemeteries shall be completed on or before January 1, 1984. The commission shall notify landowners on whose property such graves and cemeteries are determined to exist, and shall identify the Native American group most likely descended from those Native Americans who may be interred on the property.
(b) To make recommendations relative to Native American sacred places that are located on private lands, are inaccessible to Native Americans, and have cultural significance to Native Americans for acquisition by the state or other public agencies for the purpose of facilitating or assuring access thereto by Native Americans.
(c) To make recommendations to the Legislature relative to procedures which will voluntarily encourage private property owners to preserve and protect sacred places in a natural state and to allow appropriate access to Native American religionists for ceremonial or spiritual activities.
(d) To appoint necessary clerical staff.
(e) To accept grants or donations, real or in kind, to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(f) To make recommendations to the Director of Parks and Recreation and the California Arts Council relative to the California State Indian Museum and other Indian matters touched upon by department programs.
(g) To bring an action to prevent severe and irreparable damage to, or assure appropriate access for Native Americans to, a Native American sanctified cemetery, place of worship, religious or ceremonial site, or sacred shrine located on public property, pursuant to Section 5097.97. If the court finds that severe and irreparable damage will occur or that appropriate access will be denied, and appropriate mitigation measures are not available, it shall issue an injunction, unless it finds, on clear and convincing evidence, that the public interest and necessity require otherwise. The Attorney General shall represent the commission and the state in litigation concerning affairs of the commission, unless the Attorney General has determined to represent the agency against whom the commission’s action is directed, in which case the commission shall be authorized to employ other counsel. In any action to enforce the provisions of this subdivision the commission shall introduce evidence showing that such cemetery, place, site, or shrine has been historically regarded as a sacred or sanctified place by Native American people and represents a place of unique historical and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or community.
(h) To request and utilize the advice and service of all federal, state, local, and regional agencies.
(i) To assist Native Americans in obtaining appropriate access to sacred places that are located on public lands for ceremonial or spiritual activities.
(j) To assist state agencies in any negotiations with agencies of the federal government for the protection of Native American sacred places that are located on federal lands.
(k) To mediate, upon application of either of the parties, disputes arising between landowners and known descendents relating to the treatment and disposition of Native American human burials, skeletal remains, and items associated with Native American burials.
The agreements shall provide protection to Native American human burials and skeletal remains from vandalism and inadvertent destruction and provide for sensitive treatment and disposition of Native American burials, skeletal remains, and associated grave goods consistent with the planned use of, or the approved project on, the land.
(l) To assist interested landowners in developing agreements with appropriate Native American groups for treating or disposing, with appropriate dignity, of the human remains and any items associated with Native American burials.
(m) To provide each California Native American tribe, as defined in Section 21073, on or before July 1, 2016, with a list of all public agencies that may be a lead agency pursuant to Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) within the geographic area with which the tribe is traditionally and culturally affiliated, the contact information of those public agencies, and information on how the tribe may request the public agency to notify the tribe of projects within the jurisdiction of those public agencies for the purposes of requesting consultation pursuant to Section 21080.3.1.

SEC. 3.

 Section 21073 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21073.
 “California Native American tribe” means a Native American tribe located in California that is on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission for the purposes of Chapter 905 of the Statutes of 2004.

SEC. 4.

 Section 21074 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21074.
 (a) “Tribal cultural resources” are either of the following:
(1) Sites, features, places, cultural landscapes, sacred places, and objects with cultural value to a California Native American tribe that are either of the following:
(A) Included or determined to be eligible for inclusion in the California Register of Historical Resources.
(B) Included in a local register of historical resources as defined in subdivision (k) of Section 5020.1.
(2) A resource determined by the lead agency, in its discretion and supported by substantial evidence, to be significant pursuant to criteria set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 5024.1. In applying the criteria set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 5024.1 for the purposes of this paragraph, the lead agency shall consider the significance of the resource to a California Native American tribe.
(b) A cultural landscape that meets the criteria of subdivision (a) is a tribal cultural resource to the extent that the landscape is geographically defined in terms of the size and scope of the landscape.
(c) A historical resource described in Section 21084.1, a unique archaeological resource as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 21083.2, or a “nonunique archaeological resource” as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 21083.2 may also be a tribal cultural resource if it conforms with the criteria of subdivision (a).

SEC. 5.

 Section 21080.3.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21080.3.1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that California Native American tribes traditionally and culturally affiliated with a geographic area may have expertise concerning their tribal cultural resources.
(b) Prior to the release of a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, or environmental impact report for a project, the lead agency shall begin consultation with a California Native American tribe that is traditionally and culturally affiliated with the geographic area of the proposed project if: (1) the California Native American tribe requested to the lead agency, in writing, to be informed by the lead agency through formal notification of proposed projects in the geographic area that is traditionally and culturally affiliated with the tribe, and (2) the California Native American tribe responds, in writing, within 30 days of receipt of the formal notification, and requests the consultation. When responding to the lead agency, the California Native American tribe shall designate a lead contact person. If the California Native American tribe does not designate a lead contact person, or designates multiple lead contact people, the lead agency shall defer to the individual listed on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission for the purposes of Chapter 905 of the Statutes of 2004. For purposes of this section and Section 21080.3.2, “consultation” shall have the same meaning as provided in Section 65352.4 of the Government Code.
(c) To expedite the requirements of this section, the Native American Heritage Commission shall assist the lead agency in identifying the California Native American tribes that are traditionally and culturally affiliated with the project area.
(d) Within 14 days of determining that an application for a project is complete or a decision by a public agency to undertake a project, the lead agency shall provide formal notification to the designated contact of, or a tribal representative of, traditionally and culturally affiliated California Native American tribes that have requested notice, which shall be accomplished by means of at least one written notification that includes a brief description of the proposed project and its location, the lead agency contact information, and a notification that the California Native American tribe has 30 days to request consultation pursuant to this section.
(e) The lead agency shall begin the consultation process within 30 days of receiving a California Native American tribe’s request for consultation.

SEC. 6.

 Section 21080.3.2 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21080.3.2.
 (a) As a part of the consultation pursuant to Section 21080.3.1, the parties may propose mitigation measures, including, but not limited to, those recommended in Section 21084.3, capable of avoiding or substantially lessening potential significant impacts to a tribal cultural resource or alternatives that would avoid significant impacts to a tribal cultural resource. If the California Native American tribe requests consultation regarding alternatives to the project, recommended mitigation measures, or significant effects, the consultation shall include those topics. The consultation may include discussion concerning the type of environmental review necessary, the significance of tribal cultural resources, the significance of the project’s impacts on the tribal cultural resources, and, if necessary, project alternatives or the appropriate measures for preservation or mitigation that the California Native American tribe may recommended to the lead agency.
(b) The consultation shall be considered concluded when either of the following occurs:
(1) The parties agree to measures to mitigate or avoid a significant effect, if a significant effect exists, on a tribal cultural resource.
(2) A party, acting in good faith and after reasonable effort, concludes that mutual agreement cannot be reached.
(c) (1) This section does not limit the ability of a California Native American tribe or the public to submit information to the lead agency regarding the significance of the tribal cultural resources, the significance of the project’s impact on tribal cultural resources, or any appropriate measures to mitigate the impact.
(2) This section does not limit the ability of the lead agency or project proponent to incorporate changes and additions to the project as a result of the consultation, even if not legally required.
(d) If the project proponent or its consultants participate in the consultation, those parties shall respect the principles set forth in this section.

SEC. 7.

 Section 21082.3 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21082.3.
 (a) Any mitigation measures agreed upon in the consultation conducted pursuant to Section 21080.3.2 shall be recommended for inclusion in the environmental document and in an adopted mitigation monitoring and reporting program, if determined to avoid or lessen the impact pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), and shall be fully enforceable.
(b) If a project may have a significant impact on a tribal cultural resource, the lead agency’s environmental document shall discuss both of the following:
(1) Whether the proposed project has a significant impact on an identified tribal cultural resource.
(2) Whether feasible alternatives or mitigation measures, including those measures that may be agreed to pursuant to subdivision (a), avoid or substantially lessen the impact on the identified tribal cultural resource.
(c) (1) Any information, including, but not limited to, the location, description, and use of the tribal cultural resources, that is submitted by a California Native American tribe during the environmental review process shall not be included in the environmental document or otherwise disclosed by the lead agency or any other public agency to the public, consistent with subdivision (r) of Section 6254 of, and Section 6254.10 of, the Government Code, and subdivision (d) of Section 15120 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, without the prior consent of the tribe that provided the information. If the lead agency publishes any information submitted by a California Native American tribe during the consultation or environmental review process, that information shall be published in a confidential appendix to the environmental document unless the tribe that provided the information consents, in writing, to the disclosure of some or all of the information to the public. This subdivision does not prohibit the confidential exchange of the submitted information between public agencies that have lawful jurisdiction over the preparation of the environmental document.
(2) (A) This subdivision does not prohibit the confidential exchange of information regarding tribal cultural resources submitted by a California Native American tribe during the consultation or environmental review process among the lead agency, the California Native American tribe, the project applicant, or the project applicant’s agent. Except as provided in subparagraph (B) or unless the California Native American tribe providing the information consents, in writing, to public disclosure, the project applicant or the project applicant’s legal advisers, using a reasonable degree of care, shall maintain the confidentiality of the information exchanged for the purposes of preventing looting, vandalism, or damage to a tribal cultural resources and shall not disclose to a third party confidential information regarding tribal cultural resources.
(B) This paragraph does not apply to data or information that are or become publicly available, are already in the lawful possession of the project applicant before the provision of the information by the California Native American tribe, are independently developed by the project applicant or the project applicant’s agents, or are lawfully obtained by the project applicant from a third party that is not the lead agency, a California Native American tribe, or another public agency.
(3) This subdivision does not affect or alter the application of subdivision (r) of Section 6254 of the Government Code, Section 6254.10 of the Government Code, or subdivision (d) of Section 15120 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.
(4) This subdivision does not prevent a lead agency or other public agency from describing the information in general terms in the environmental document so as to inform the public of the basis of the lead agency’s or other public agency’s decision without breaching the confidentiality required by this subdivision.
(d) In addition to other provisions of this division, the lead agency may certify an environmental impact report or adopt a mitigated negative declaration for a project with a significant impact on an identified tribal cultural resource only if one of the following occurs:
(1) The consultation process between the California Native American tribe and the lead agency has occurred as provided in Sections 21080.3.1 and 21080.3.2 and concluded pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 21080.3.2.
(2) The California Native American tribe has requested consultation pursuant to Section 21080.3.1 and has failed to provide comments to the lead agency, or otherwise failed to engage, in the consultation process.
(3) The lead agency has complied with subdivision (d) of Section 21080.3.1 and the California Native American tribe has failed to request consultation within 30 days.
(e) If the mitigation measures recommended by the staff of the lead agency as a result of the consultation process are not included in the environmental document or if there are no agreed upon mitigation measures at the conclusion of the consultation or if consultation does not occur, and if substantial evidence demonstrates that a project will cause a significant effect to a tribal cultural resource, the lead agency shall consider feasible mitigation pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 21084.3.
(f) Consistent with subdivision (c), the lead agency shall publish confidential information obtained from a California Native American tribe during the consultation process in a confidential appendix to the environmental document and shall include a general description of the information, as provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) in the environmental document for public review during the public comment period provided pursuant to this division.
(g) This section is not intended, and may not be construed, to limit consultation between the state and tribal governments, existing confidentiality provisions, or the protection of religious exercise to the fullest extent permitted under state and federal law.

SEC. 8.

 Section 21083.09 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21083.09.
 On or before July 1, 2016, the Office of Planning and Research shall prepare and develop, and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall certify and adopt, revisions to the guidelines that update Appendix G of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 15000) of Division 6 of Title 4 of the California Code of Regulations to do both of the following:
(a) Separate the consideration of paleontological resources from tribal cultural resources and update the relevant sample questions.
(b) Add consideration of tribal cultural resources with relevant sample questions.

SEC. 9.

 Section 21084.2 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21084.2.
 A project with an effect that may cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a tribal cultural resource is a project that may have a significant effect on the environment.

SEC. 10.

 Section 21084.3 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21084.3.
 (a) Public agencies shall, when feasible, avoid damaging effects to any tribal cultural resource.
(b) If the lead agency determines that a project may cause a substantial adverse change to a tribal cultural resource, and measures are not otherwise identified in the consultation process provided in Section 21080.3.2, the following are examples of mitigation measures that, if feasible, may be considered to avoid or minimize the significant adverse impacts:
(1) Avoidance and preservation of the resources in place, including, but not limited to, planning and construction to avoid the resources and protect the cultural and natural context, or planning greenspace, parks, or other open space, to incorporate the resources with culturally appropriate protection and management criteria.
(2) Treating the resource with culturally appropriate dignity taking into account the tribal cultural values and meaning of the resource, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Protecting the cultural character and integrity of the resource.
(B) Protecting the traditional use of the resource.
(C) Protecting the confidentiality of the resource.
(3) Permanent conservation easements or other interests in real property, with culturally appropriate management criteria for the purposes of preserving or utilizing the resources or places.
(4) Protecting the resource.

SEC. 11.

 (a) This act does not alter or expand the applicability of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) concerning projects occurring on Native American tribal reservations or rancherias.
(b) This act does not prohibit any California Native American tribe or individual from participating in the California Environmental Quality Act on any issue of concern as an interested California Native American tribe, person, citizen, or member of the public.
(c) This act shall apply only to a project that has a notice of preparation or a notice of negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration filed on or after July 1, 2015.

SEC. 12.

 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.