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SB-1185 Emergency backup generators: emergency variance: operation during deenergization events.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/26/2020 09:00 PM
SB1185:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 26, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1185


Introduced by Senator Moorlach

February 20, 2020


An act to add Article 9.3 (commencing with Section 42000) to Chapter 3 of Part 4 of Division 26 of Section 42359.6 to the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section 8385 of, and to add Section 8388.5 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to nonvehicular air pollution.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1185, as amended, Moorlach. Natural gas powered Emergency backup generators: emergency variance: operation during deenergization events.

Existing

(1) Existing law imposes various limitations on emissions of air contaminants for the control of air pollution from vehicular and nonvehicular sources. Existing law generally designates air pollution control and air quality management districts (air district) with the primary responsibility for the control of air pollution from all sources other than vehicular sources. Existing law requires the State Air Resources Board (state board) to identify toxic air contaminants that are emitted into the ambient air of the state and to establish airborne toxic control measures to reduce emissions of toxic air contaminants from nonvehicular sources.

This bill would prohibit an air district from adopting or maintaining a rule that would limit or prohibit the usage of a federally compliant natural gas powered generator during a deenergization event and would require that any usage during a deenergization event not count toward any time limitation on actual usage and routine testing and maintenance included as a condition for issuance of any permit for that generator. The bill would prohibit the state board from adopting or maintaining a rule that would limit or prohibit the usage of a federally compliant natural gas powered generator during a deenergization event. By prohibiting an air district maintaining existing rules, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program to revise any rule not in compliance with that prohibition.

Existing law establishes one or more hearing boards with a specified membership in each air district for the purposes of performing specified functions, including, among others, issuing specified emergency variances without notice or a hearing.
This bill would require a facility permittee applying for an emergency variance with an air district hearing board to demonstrate that the permitted emergency backup generator is using the cleanest, feasible, available backup power source sufficient to meet the facility’s electrical service demand during a deenergization event, as specified. By expanding the information required for an air district hearing board to review when issuing this type of emergency variance, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Under

(2) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, while local publicly owned electric utilities are under the direction of their governing boards. Electrical cooperatives are subject to the regulatory authority of the commission, except as specified. Existing law requires each electrical corporation to annually prepare and submit a wildfire mitigation plan to the commission for review and approval, as specified. Following approval, the commission is required to oversee compliance with the plans. Existing law requires each local publicly owned electric utility and electrical cooperative to annually prepare a wildfire mitigation plan and to verify that the wildfire mitigation plan complies with all applicable rules, regulations, and standards, as appropriate. Existing law requires a wildfire mitigation plan of an electrical corporation to include, among other things, protocols for deenergizing portions of the electrical distribution system that consider the associated impacts on public safety, as well as protocols related to mitigating the public safety impacts of those protocols, including impacts on critical first responders and on health and communications infrastructure. Existing law requires a wildfire mitigation plan of an electrical corporation to also include appropriate and feasible procedures for notifying a customer who may be impacted by the deenergizing of electrical lines and requires these procedures to consider the need to notify, as a priority, critical first responders, health care facilities, and operators of telecommunications infrastructure with premises within the footprint of a potential deenergization event. Existing law requires that an electrical cooperative and a local publicly owned electric utility consider these matters when developing and implementing a wildfire mitigation plan.
If an electrical corporation, electrical cooperative, or local publicly owned electric utility has undertaken a deenergization event during a calendar year, this bill would require the electrical corporation, electrical cooperative, or local publicly owned electric utility, by January 30 of the following calendar year, to submit a report with specified information to each air district affected by the deenergization event and to the state board.
Under existing law, a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because this bill would require action by the commission to implement its requirements, and a violation of that action by an electrical corporation or electrical cooperative would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime. By requiring local publicly owned electric utilities to report matters to air quality management districts and air pollution control districts the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

The

(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for specified reasons.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.Article 9.3 (commencing with Section 42000) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 4 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
9.3.Use of Natural Gas Powered Generators During Deenergization Events
42000.

For purposes of this article, the following terms apply:

(a)“Deenergization event” means the proactive interruption of electrical service for the purpose of mitigating or avoiding the risk of causing a wildfire.

(b)“Electrical cooperative” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2776 of the Public Utilities Code.

(c)“Electrical corporation” has the same meaning as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code.

(d)“Federally compliant natural gas powered generator” means a device used for the generation of electricity that complies with the federal standards of performance for stationary spark ignition internal combustion engines (Subpart JJJJ (commencing with Section 60.4230) of Part 60 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations) and burns only natural gas for operation during the deenergization event, or, if the generator is located in an area that does not have natural gas service, burns only propane during the deenergization event.

(e)“Local publicly owned electric utility” has the same meaning as defined in Section 224.3 of the Public Utilities Code.

(f)“Permit” means a permit issued by the district pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 42300) of Chapter 4.

42001.

Consistent with federal law, a district shall not adopt or maintain a rule that would limit or prohibit the usage of a federally compliant natural gas powered generator during a deenergization event, and any usage during a deenergization event shall not count toward any time limitation on actual usage and routine testing and maintenance included as a condition for the issuance of any permit for that generator.

42002.

Consistent with federal law, the state board shall not adopt or maintain a rule that would limit or prohibit the usage of a federally compliant natural gas powered generator during a deenergization event.

SECTION 1.

 Section 42359.6 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

42359.6.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Deenergization event” means the proactive interruption of electrical service for the purpose of mitigating or avoiding the risk of causing a wildfire.
(2) “Federally compliant natural-gas-powered generator” means a device used for the generation of electricity that complies with the federal standards of performance for stationary spark ignition internal combustion engines (Subpart JJJJ (commencing with Section 60.4230) of Part 60 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations) and burns only natural gas for operation during the deenergization event, or, if the generator is located in an area that does not have natural gas service, burns only propane during the deenergization event.
(b) When applying for an emergency variance pursuant to Section 42359.5, the facility permittee shall demonstrate that the emergency backup generator subject to district permitting requirements is using the cleanest, feasible, available backup power source sufficient to meet the facility’s electrical service demand during a deenergization event. Suitable backup power sources may include, but are not limited to, federally compliant natural-gas-powered generators.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8385 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

8385.
 (a) For purposes of this chapter, the following shall apply:
(1) “Compliance period” means a period of approximately one year.
(2) “Deenergization event” means the proactive interruption of electrical service for the purpose of mitigating or avoiding the risk of causing a wildfire.
(3) “Electrical cooperative” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2776.
(b) The commission shall supervise an electrical corporation’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter pursuant to the Public Utilities Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 201) of Division 1). Nothing in this chapter affects the commission’s authority or jurisdiction over an electrical cooperative or local publicly owned electric utility.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8388.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8388.5.
 If an electrical corporation, electrical cooperative, or local publicly owned electric utility has undertaken a deenergization event during a calendar year, the electrical utility shall submit a report, by January 30 of the following calendar year, to the State Air Resources Board and to each air quality management district and air pollution control and air quality management district affected by the deenergization event. The report shall include both of the following:
(a) A description of the area affected by the deenergization event.
(b) A description of when the deenergization event began and when reliable electrical service was restored.

SEC. 4.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 42359.6 to the Health and Safety Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
Given that deenergization events may be carried out with limited notice to affected facilities, air pollution control and air quality management district hearing board members must be able to provide any necessary variances quickly in an emergency, even when doing so cannot follow the standard public hearing process.

SEC. 4.SEC. 5.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain mandates because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act or because costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
With respect to other mandates, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.