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AB-487 Department of Water Resources: dams and reservoirs: fees and penalty plus interest.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/15/2019 09:00 PM
AB487:v96#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 487
CHAPTER 89

An act to amend Section 6307 of the Water Code, relating to dams and reservoirs.

[ Approved by Governor  July 12, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  July 12, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 487, Gallagher. Department of Water Resources: dams and reservoirs: fees and penalty plus interest.
Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources to supervise the construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, maintenance, operation, and removal of dams and reservoirs for the protection of life and property. Existing law prohibits commencing construction of any new dam or reservoir or the enlargement of any dam or reservoir until the owner has applied for and obtained written approval of plans and specifications from the department.
Existing law also requires the department to adopt, by regulation, a schedule of fees to cover the department’s reasonable regulatory costs in carrying out the supervision of dam safety, which may include, but is not limited to, the costs of reviewing an inundation map, the amounts necessary to repay budgetary loans, and a prudent reserve. Existing law requires that a penalty plus interest, as set forth in existing law, be imposed for fees received after July 1 in any year.
This bill would instead authorize that a penalty plus interest may be imposed for fees received more than 30 days after the July 1 required date of payment in any year.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 6307 of the Water Code is amended to read:

6307.
 (a) (1) The department shall adopt, by regulation, a schedule of fees to cover the department’s reasonable regulatory costs in carrying out the supervision of dam safety, which may include, but is not limited to, the costs of reviewing an inundation map, the amounts necessary to repay budgetary loans, and a prudent reserve.
(2) The revenue generated by the fees imposed under this section shall be adjusted periodically for cost-of-living increases. If the director determines that the revenue collected during the preceding fiscal year was greater or less than the cost to operate the program, the director shall adjust the fees to compensate for the overcollection or undercollection of revenue. The department shall provide a schedule of fees to the Legislature and to every dam owner that has a permit or has applied for a permit, when any adjustment is made to the fees under this section.
(3) The schedule of fees adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall be based, in part, on the height of the dam on a per foot basis.
(b) A penalty plus interest, as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 6428, may be imposed for fees received more than 30 days after the July 1 required date of payment in any year. This penalty does not apply to any supplemental billing issued by the department.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “height of the dam” means the vertical distance, to the nearest foot, from the natural bed of the stream or watercourse at the downstream toe of the barrier, as determined by the department, or from the lowest elevation of the outside limit of the barrier, as determined by the department, if it is not across a stream channel or watercourse, to the maximum possible water storage elevation.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the department shall limit the total annual fee per dam if both of the following apply:
(1) The dam has a storage capacity of not more than 100 acre-feet.
(2) The governing body of a private school or the governing board of a public school certifies that the dam is used as a subject of study by its students.
(e) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the department shall limit the total annual fee for dams or reservoirs located on farms or ranch properties to no more than 20 percent of the fees assessed pursuant to subdivision (a).
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “farm” has the same meaning as defined in Section 52262 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(f) (1) Privately owned dams with less than 100 acre-feet of storage capacity shall be assessed an annual fee in accordance with paragraph (1) of subdivision (e).
(2) As used in this subdivision, “privately owned” does not include dams owned by municipalities, water districts or companies, irrigation districts, private, investor owned or publicly owned utilities, or public agencies.
(g) Any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare.