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AB-2293 California Green Business Program and Green Assistance Program.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 27, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 11, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 10, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2293


Introduced by Assembly Members Cristina Garcia, Alejo, Eggman, Eduardo Garcia, and Gomez
(Principal coauthor: Senator Leyva)

February 18, 2016


An act to add Part 10 (commencing with Section 44480) to Division 26 Sections 12812.7 and 12812.8 to the Government Code, and to amend Section 25244.17.2 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to greenhouse gases. gases, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2293, as amended, Cristina Garcia. Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: California Green Business Program and Green Assistance Program.
Existing law creates the California Environmental Protection Agency, consisting of various boards, offices, and departments, including the State Air Resources Board and the Department of Toxic Substances Control.
The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 designates the State Air Resources Board as the state agency charged with monitoring and regulating sources of emissions of greenhouse gases. The act authorizes the state board to include the use of market-based compliance mechanisms. Existing law requires all moneys, except for fines and penalties, collected by the state board as part of a market-based compliance mechanism to be deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and to be available upon appropriation. Existing law requires the California Environmental Protection Agency to identify disadvantaged communities and requires the Department of Finance, in consultation with the state board and any other relevant state agency, to develop, as specified, a 3-year investment plan for the moneys deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
This bill would establish the Green Assistance Program within the California Environmental Protection Agency to, among other things, assist small businesses and small nonprofit organizations in applying for moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
This bill would also establish the California Green Business Program within the California Environmental Protection Agency to provide support and assistance to green business certification programs operated by local governments that certify small- and medium-sized businesses that voluntarily adopt environmentally preferable business practices, including, but not limited to, increased energy efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, water conservation, and waste reduction, as specified. The bill would delete an existing authorization for the Department of Toxic Substances Control to create a similar program.
The bill would appropriate an unspecified amount annually to each program from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

This bill would establish the Green Assistance Program, to be administered by the Secretary for Environmental Protection to, among other things, assist small businesses and small nonprofit organizations in applying for moneys from programs using moneys from the fund, as specified.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(a) Small businesses and small nonprofit organizations often lack the technical expertise to develop grant and financing options.
(b) For the state to meet its air quality goals, every business and community must have the same opportunity to compete for funding that is available to meet those air quality goals.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12812.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:

12812.7.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Fund” means the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund established pursuant to Section 16428.8.
(2) “Secretary” means the Secretary for Environmental Protection.
(3) “Small business” shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 14837.
(b) The Green Assistance Program is hereby established within the California Environmental Protection Agency to be administered by the secretary. The program shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide technical assistance, including assistance with the development of competitive project proposals, to small businesses and small nonprofit organizations applying for an allocation of moneys from the fund.
(2) Assist small businesses in applying for funding for energy upgrades to meet and exceed the greenhouse gas emission reductions established pursuant to Section 38560 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) Advise small businesses in complying with all applicable federal, state, and local air quality laws.
(4) Identify state agencies with appropriate grant programs.
(5) Coordinate existing local programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with new programs receiving moneys from the fund.
(c) Notwithstanding Section 13340, the sum of ____ million dollars ($____) is hereby appropriated annually, without regard to fiscal years, from the fund to the secretary for purposes of the Green Assistance Program. Notwithstanding this appropriation, the Department of Finance may elect to fund the program instead from moneys made available to the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 39719 of the Health and Safety Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 12812.8 is added to the Government Code, to read:

12812.8.
 (a) The California Green Business Program is hereby established within the California Environmental Protection Agency to be administered by the Secretary for Environmental Protection. The program shall provide support and assistance to green business certification programs operated by local governments that certify small- and medium-sized businesses that voluntarily adopt environmentally preferable business practices, including, but not limited to, increased energy efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, water conservation, and waste reduction.
(b) The California Green Business Program, pursuant to subdivision (a), may do any of the following:
(1) Assist local governments in the development and implementation of guidelines and structures that establish and promote a level of consistency among green business certification programs throughout the state.
(2) Promote early adoption of environmental initiatives at participating businesses and provide a publicly recognizable incentive for participating businesses to make their operations more sustainable and profitable in order to gain measurable environmental outcomes.
(3) Develop technical guidance on greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures, conduct industry studies and pilot projects, establish metrics, and provide policy coordination for the green business certification programs operated by local governments.
(4) Develop tools, templates, and outreach campaigns on behalf of the green business certification programs operated by local governments to encourage business participation and public recognition of the certification as a reliable indicator of sustainability.
(5) Support, through staffing and contacts, the funding for on-the-ground professionals specializing in technical assistance for small- and medium-sized businesses seeking green business certification and for public involvement to recruit additional participating businesses.
(6) Support, in collaboration with the Green Assistance Program established pursuant to Section 12812.7, the provision of technical assistance to small businesses and small nonprofit organizations to develop project proposals for grant programs funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
(7) Provide for collaboration between the green business certification programs operated by local governments and state agencies that operate small business efficiency and economic development programs, including the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the Department of Community Services and Development, and with the Public Utilities Commission, the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, the Department of Water Resources, and the boards, offices, and departments within the California Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 12812. The nature of the collaboration may include attempting to meet and measure state-mandated conservation efforts at small- and medium-sized businesses, developing methods to collect, measure, and report on environmental outcomes, and using green businesses as the early adopters of environmental initiatives that lead to greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
(8) Maintain and enhance a common network database integrating measurable pollution reductions and cost savings to businesses seeking green business certification through the local government programs and add participating businesses that receive the certification to a directory of certified green businesses, that would be used to promote the certified businesses both to other businesses that are seeking to green their supply chain and to consumers seeking to support sustainable businesses.
(9) Position certified green businesses as supply-chain partners for state, national, and international companies seeking green supply-chain partners.
(10) Solicit participation of additional local government programs and facilitate the startup of new local programs, including extra support and a specific prioritized focus on assistance for disadvantaged communities that lack local funding and resources to develop a program.
(11) Provide funding to local government programs for staff support and provide additional resources and funding for direct rebates and grants to certified green businesses.
(c) Notwithstanding Section 13340, the sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby appropriated annually, without regard to fiscal years, from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund established pursuant to Section 16428.8 to the Secretary for Environmental Protection for purposes of the California Green Business Program. Notwithstanding this appropriation, the Department of Finance may elect to fund the program instead from moneys made available to the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 39719 of the Health and Safety Code. Of the amount made available to the California Green Business Program, a minimum of 25 percent shall be used for local government programs benefitting disadvantaged communities pursuant to Section 39713 of the Health and Safety Code.

SEC. 4.

 Section 25244.17.2 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

25244.17.2.
 (a) (1)The department may provide pollution prevention training and resources to CUPAs, small business development corporations, business environmental assistance centers, and other regional and local government environmental programs so that they can provide technical assistance to businesses in identifying and applying methods of pollution prevention.

(2)

(b) The activities conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) subdivision (a) shall emphasize activities necessary to implement Sections 25244.17 and 25244.17.1.

(b)As part of implementing the program authorized by this section, the department may develop a California Green Business Program that provides support and assistance to programs operated by local governments to meet the requirement of subdivision (c) and that would voluntarily certify small businesses that adopt environmentally preferable business practices, including, but not limited to, increased energy efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, promotion of water conservation, and reduced waste generation. The department’s California Green Business Program may do any or all of the following:

(1)Assist the network of statewide local government programs in implementing guidelines and structures that establish and promote a level of consistency among green business programs across the state.

(2)Support, through staffing and contracts, the development and maintenance of a statewide database to register small businesses granted green business certification, or its equivalent, pursuant to a local government program, and track measurable pollution reductions and cost savings.

(3)Solicit participation of additional local programs and facilitate the startup of new local programs.

(4)Develop technical guidance on pollution prevention measures, conduct industry studies and pilot projects, and provide policy coordination for the participating local programs.

(5)Collaborate with relevant state agencies that operate small business efficiency and economic development programs, including, but not limited to, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, the Public Utilities Commission, the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, the State Air Resources Board, and the Department of Water Resources.

(c)The department may provide support and assistance to a local government program to enable the program to meet all of the following requirements:

(1)The program will be operated by a local government or its designee.

(2)The program will adopt industry-specific standards for green business certification, or its equivalent, in consultation with the other participants in the California Green Business Program.

(3)The program will grant a small business that voluntarily applies to the program a green business certification or its equivalent, only upon a determination by the program operator or designee that the business is a small business, as determined by the program, and complies with the industry-specific standards for green business certification adopted pursuant to paragraph (2).

(4)The program will grant a green business certification, or its equivalent, to small businesses, as determined by the program, in accordance with all of the following requirements:

(A)Before the program grants green business certification or its equivalent, the program conducts an evaluation to verify compliance with the appropriate green business certification standards adopted pursuant to paragraph (2).

(B)A green business certification or its equivalent is granted only to an individual location of a small business.

(C)A green business certification or its equivalent is granted to an individual small business only for a limited time period, and, after the elapse of that time period, the small business is required to reapply for that certification.

(D)Compliance with applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations is required as a condition of receiving a green business certification or its equivalent.

(d)The department may determine, in consultation with the advisory committee, the most effective methods to promote implementation of pollution prevention education programs by CUPAs, small business development corporations, business environmental assistance centers, and other regional and local government environmental programs. Program elements may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1)Sponsoring workshops, conferences, technology fairs, and other training events.

(2)Sponsoring regional training groups, such as the regional hazardous waste reduction committees.

(3)Developing and distributing educational materials, such as short descriptions of successful pollution prevention projects and materials explaining how pollution prevention has been used by businesses to achieve compliance with environmental laws enforced by local governments.

(4)Developing site review checklists, training manuals, and technical resource manuals and using those resources to train CUPAs, small business development corporations, business environmental assistance centers, and other regional and local government environmental programs.

(5)Preparing and distributing resource lists such as lists of vendors, consultants, or providers of financial assistance for pollution prevention projects.

(6)Serving as an information clearinghouse to support telephone and onsite consultants with local governments.

SEC. 2.Part 10 (commencing with Section 44480) is added to Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
10.Green Assistance Program
44480.

For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:

(a)“Fund” means the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, established pursuant to Section 16428.8 of the Government Code.

(b)“Secretary” means the Secretary for Environmental Protection.

44481.

The Green Assistance Program is hereby established and shall be administered by the secretary. The program shall do all of the following:

(a)Provide technical assistance, including the development of competitive project proposals, to small businesses and small nonprofit organizations when applying for an allocation of moneys from the fund.

(b)Assist small businesses in applying for funding for energy efficiency upgrades to meet and exceed the greenhouse gas emission reductions established pursuant to Section 38560.

(c)Advise small businesses in complying with all applicable federal, state, and local air quality laws.

(d)Identify state agencies with appropriate grant programs.

(e)Coordinate existing local programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with new programs receiving moneys from the fund.