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AB-2621 Office of Planning and Research: regional climate networks: climate adaptation action plans.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 08/17/2020 10:00 AM
AB2621:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 17, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 04, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 05, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2621


Introduced by Assembly Member Mullin

February 20, 2020


An act to add Sections 71133 and 71134 to, and to add and repeal Section 71135 of, the Public Resources Code, relating to climate change.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2621, as amended, Mullin. Office of Planning and Research: regional climate networks: climate adaptation action plans.
Existing law requires, by July 1, 2017, and every 3 years thereafter, the Natural Resources Agency to update, as prescribed, the state’s climate adaptation strategy, known as the Safeguarding California Plan. Existing law establishes the Office of Planning and Research in state government in the Governor’s office. Existing law establishes the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program to be administered by the office to coordinate regional and local efforts with state climate adaptation strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change, as prescribed.
This bill would authorize eligible agencies, as defined, to establish and participate in a regional climate network, as defined, to prepare a regional climate adaptation action plan for certain regions, as described. The bill would authorize eligible agencies to voluntarily determine whether to establish membership in a regional climate network. The bill would not limit the number of regional climate networks that may be established within each region. The bill would require the office to encourage the inclusion of agencies with land use planning authority into regional climate networks.
This bill would also require, by January 1, 2022, the office to develop guidelines, as prescribed, establishing how a regional climate network may develop a regional climate adaptation action plan, including certain information, analyses, and contents to be included in a plan and certain considerations and procedures for a regional climate network when preparing a plan. The bill would require the office to provide technical assistance to eligible agencies developing regional climate networks and plans. The bill would require, by January 1, 2022, the office to make recommendations to certain policy committees of the Legislature on improving state support for the creation and work of regional climate networks, as prescribed, and the potential sources of financial assistance and options for distributing state funds to support the creation and implementation of plans.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to do all of the following:
(a) Develop guidance for potential state, federal, or private investment in funding regional priority climate adaptation projects across the state.
(b) Foster collaboration among local, regional, and state agencies in a way that promotes coordination within each region, as well as coordination among neighboring regions, on adaptation solutions that reduce climate risk and help achieve multiple benefits, including benefits to public health, to the protection of infrastructure and natural resources, and to California’s economy.
(c) Build upon the work of the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program under the Office of Planning and Research.
(d) Encourage local, regional, and state agencies to build off of existing planning documents when creating regional climate adaptation action plans to promote cost effectiveness and avoid duplicative or conflicting efforts.

SEC. 2.

 Section 71133 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71133.
 (a) (1) For purposes of this section and Section 71134, the following definitions apply:
(A) “Eligible agency” means a local, regional, or state agency, including, but not limited to, a city, county, special district, council of government, metropolitan planning organization, state conservancy under the Natural Resources Agency, or climate collaborative, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 71130, regional water quality control board, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. 71130.
(B) “Plan” means a regional climate adaptation action plan.
(C) “Regional climate network” means a group of two or more eligible agencies whose jurisdictions are located in the same region, and whose combined jurisdiction enhances their effectiveness in responding to climate risks.
(2) For purposes of this section and Section 71134, “region” shall be defined by the Office of Planning and Research and shall be based on the regions identified in California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, or subsequent updates. The Office of Planning and Research may also consider the geographic boundaries of a metropolitan planning organization responsible for the development of a sustainable communities strategy pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 65080 of the Government Code.
(b) An eligible agency may voluntarily establish membership in a regional climate network.
(c) Nothing in this section limits the number of regional climate networks that may be established within each region, but the Office of Planning and Research shall facilitate coordination between regions and encourage regions to incorporate as many eligible agencies into one network as feasible, taking into consideration each region’s unique vulnerabilities and land use challenges. The Office of Planning and Research shall also encourage the inclusion of agencies with land use planning authority into regional climate networks.
(d) A regional climate network may be expanded or consolidated at any time consistent with this section.
(e) An eligible agency shall consult with the Office of Planning and Research before establishing membership in a regional climate network. An eligible agency shall notify the Office of Planning and Research in writing of the establishment, expansion, or consolidation of a regional climate network.

SEC. 3.

 Section 71134 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71134.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2022, the Office of Planning and Research shall develop guidelines that establish how a regional climate network may develop a regional climate adaptation action plan. The guidelines shall address, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Standards and required contents for plans, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) A description of the climate vulnerabilities the plan seeks to address, and planning assumptions as they relate to the climate vulnerabilities identified in the plan.
(B) An identification of key challenges and barriers to building resilience to climate adaptation facing the region.
(C)  A prioritization of projects or actions that are necessary to respond to the climate vulnerabilities facing the region.
(D) Clear identification of the adaptation goals the priority projects or actions are designed to achieve, and the anticipated benefits, including, when feasible, metrics to reflect these benefits. When prioritizing projects or actions in a plan, a regional climate network shall consider all of the following:
(i) The severity of the climate vulnerability that the project or action seeks to address and the ability of the project or action to minimize climate change impacts.
(ii) The anticipated timing of the climate change impact the project or action seeks to address, and approaches for iterative and long-term planning for climate change.
(iii) Equity considerations, including the impacts the project or action has on economically disadvantaged communities, climate-vulnerable communities, as defined by the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program’s advisory council established pursuant to Section 71358, and other communities at risk of being disproportionately impacted by climate change.
(iv) The benefits of the project or action on public health, infrastructure, and natural resources.
(v) Any cobenefits generated by the project or action.
(E) An assessment of the regional climate adaptation action plan’s ability to create regional benefits in response to climate vulnerabilities.
(F) A schedule for phasing implementation of projects and actions across a region.
(G) Required monitoring to assess the ongoing effectiveness of projects and actions, and making appropriate course corrections, to minimize the impacts of climate change within a region.
(H) A financing strategy for implementing the plan’s priority projects and actions, including the costs of ongoing monitoring and any necessary postimplementation evaluations.
(I) The use of natural infrastructure to respond to climate vulnerabilities where feasible.
(J) A timeline for the regional climate network to revisit the plan to reassess and make necessary updates to the plan. The regional climate network shall be encouraged to update the plan at least once every five years.
(K) Use of the best available science as research, observations, and understanding of the impact of emissions of greenhouse gases advance.
(2) Resources and guidance to ensure that plans, to the extent appropriate, are consistent with and build upon other existing and relevant local or regional planning documents, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Climate adaptation action plans and vulnerability assessments.
(B) Safety elements of general plans.
(C) Local hazard mitigation plans.
(D) Sustainable communities strategies.
(E) Local coastal programs. Certified local coastal programs that have been updated to address sea level rise.
(F) Groundwater sustainability plans.
(G) Urban water management plans.
(H) Regional transportation plans.
(I) Long-range county transportation plans.
(J) Coastal management programs and plans.
(3) Guidance on how to develop a plan through a public process that encourages participation from impacted communities, including, but not limited to, community-based organizations, nongovernmental organizations, private sector groups, and relevant state agencies.
(4) Guidance on how to submit the plan to the Office of Planning and Research for review, comments, and approval for consistency with the guidelines.
(b) The Office of Planning and Research shall provide technical assistance to eligible agencies developing regional climate networks and plans.
(c) The Office of Planning and Research shall publish guidelines developed pursuant to this section in draft form on its internet website at least 60 days before its adoption of the guidelines for public review and comment.
(d) The Office of Planning and Research shall post the guidelines and any submitted plans developed pursuant to this section on its internet website.

SEC. 4.

 Section 71135 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71135.
 (a) As part of developing the guidelines pursuant to Sections 71133 and 71134, the Office of Planning and Research shall make recommendations to relevant policy committees of the Legislature by January 1, 2022, on both of the following:
(1) Improving state support for the creation and work of regional climate networks, including all of the following:
(A) Exploring ways the state can best partner with regions identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 71133 to provide technical assistance to regional climate networks.
(B) Developing services to assist local and regional adaptation practitioners in identifying, developing, and translating the most appropriate and actionable science for adaptation efforts. Practitioners include, but are not limited to, staff at eligible agencies, community-based organizations, and nonprofit organizations, who plan and implement adaptation projects or actions.
(2) Potential sources of financial assistance and options for distributing state funds to support the creation and implementation of regional climate adaptation action plans pursuant to Sections 71133 and 71134.
(b) (1) A report submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this section is repealed on January 1, 2025.