Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-281 Transmission and distribution lines: undergrounding.(2019-2020)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 01/28/2019 09:00 PM
AB281:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 281


Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier

January 28, 2019


An act to add Section 8390 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 281, as introduced, Frazier. Transmission and distribution lines: undergrounding.
Existing law requires electrical corporations and local publicly owned electric utilities to construct, maintain, and operate their electrical lines and equipment in a manner that will minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire posed by those electrical lines and equipment. Existing law requires electrical corporation and local publicly owned electric utilities to prepare annually a wildfire mitigation plan.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to require electrical corporations and local publicly owned electric utilities to take certain actions related to electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment in high fire risk areas.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) It is the consensus of the scientific community that global warming is contributing to changing climate conditions within the State of California, specifically the presence of drier and hotter conditions that are favorable to the start, spread, and longevity of destructive wildfires.
(b) These changing climate conditions are a departure from California’s historical climate norms, creating additional hazards that are difficult to predict and worsening the fire risks inherent to the state.
(c) The dramatic increase in fire risk is embodied by the horrific costs of the 2017 fire season, when nearly 9,000 wildfires burned 1.2 million acres of land, destroying 11,000 structures and killing at least 47 people.
(d) The increase peril facing California is further exemplified by the terrible damage wrought during the 2018 fire season, when more than 8,500 wildfires burned 1.9 million acres of land, destroying more than 20,000 structures and killing at least 104 people.
(e) The loss of lives is inexcusable and demands a response to limit the growing risks of wildfire to the lives of Californians.
(f) The enormous fiscal costs and risks associated with wildfires are imperiling the future of California’s citizens by threatening unsustainable financial burdens for ratepayers and taxpayers.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8390 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8390.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to do all of the following:
(a) Require electrical corporations and local publicly owned electric utilities to relocate electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment outside of high fire risk areas, if feasible.
(b) Require electrical corporations and local publicly owned electric utilities, for overhead electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment as to which the requirement of subdivision (a) is not feasible, to relocate those lines and that equipment underground.
(c) Require electrical corporations and local publicly owned electric utilities, for electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment as to which the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (b) are not feasible, to make improvements to those lines and that equipment to prevent, and minimize the risk of, fire ignition events.