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AB-2518 Voluntary stream restoration landowner liability.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/19/2020 09:00 PM
AB2518:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2518


Introduced by Assembly Member Wood

February 19, 2020


An act to add Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 1660) to Division 2 of the Fish and Game Code, relating to fish and wildlife.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2518, as introduced, Wood. Voluntary stream restoration landowner liability.
Existing law prohibits an entity from substantially diverting or obstructing the natural flow of, or substantially changing or using any material from the bed, channel, or bank of, any river, stream, or lake, or from depositing certain material where it may pass into any river, stream, or lake, without first notifying the Department of Fish and Wildlife of that project, and entering into a lake or streambed alteration agreement if required by the department to protect fish and wildlife resources.
Existing law authorizes a habitat restoration or enhancement project proponent to submit a written request for approval of the project to the Director of Fish and Wildlife. Existing law requires the director to approve the project if the written request includes certain information, as specified, and provides for an alternate authorization process by the State Water Resources Control Board.
This bill would exempt a landowner who voluntarily allows land to be used for such a project to restore fish and wildlife habitat from civil liability for property damage or personal injury resulting from the project if the project is funded, at least in part, by a state or federal agency that promotes or encourages riparian habitat restoration, unless the property damage or personal injury is caused by willful, intentional, or reckless conduct of the landowner or by a design, construction, operation, or maintenance activity performed by the landowner.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 1660) is added to Division 2 of the Fish and Game Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6.6. Voluntary Stream Restoration Landowner Liability

1660.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a landowner who voluntarily allows land to be used for a project to restore fish and wildlife habitat shall not be held civilly liable for property damage or personal injury resulting from the project if the project meets both of the following requirements:
(1) The project is authorized pursuant to Section 1602, 1652, or 1653.
(2) The project is funded, at least in part, by a state or federal agency that promotes or encourages riparian habitat restoration.
(b) The limitation on civil liability described in subdivision (a) shall not apply to either of the following circumstances:
(1) The property damage or personal injury is caused by willful, intentional, or reckless conduct by the landowner.
(2) The property damage or personal injury is caused by a design, construction, operation, or maintenance activity performed by the landowner.