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SB-1323 Carbon sequestration: state goals: natural and working lands: registry of projects.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/21/2020 09:00 PM
SB1323:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1323


Introduced by Senator Skinner
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Cristina Garcia)

February 21, 2020


An act to add Part 5.5 (commencing with Section 38575) to Division 25.5 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to air pollution.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1323, as introduced, Skinner. Carbon sequestration: state goals: natural and working lands: registry of projects.
(1) Existing law establishes in state government the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Resources Agency, each generally responsible for the sound fiscal management of each department, office, or other unit within the agency, as prescribed.
Existing law establishes the Department of Food and Agriculture to, among other duties and authorities, promote and protect the agricultural industry of the state. Existing law provides funds to the department, as specified, for grants to promote practices on farms and ranches that improve agricultural and open-space soil health, carbon soil sequestration, erosion control, water quality, and water retention.
Existing law establishes the State Air Resources Board as the state agency responsible for monitoring and regulating sources emitting greenhouse gases. Existing law, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires the board to approve a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit equivalent to the statewide greenhouse gas emissions level in 1990 to be achieved by 2020 and to ensure that statewide greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to at least 40% below the 1990 level by 2030.
This bill would require, no later than July 1, 2021, that the Natural Resources Agency, in coordination with the California Environmental Protection Agency, the board, and the department establish carbon sequestration goals for natural and working lands, as defined. The bill would require the board to include specified carbon dioxide removal targets as part of its scoping plan.
(2) Existing law establishes the Office of Planning and Research as the comprehensive state planning agency to, among other duties and authorities, engage in the formulation, evaluation, and updating of long-range goals and policies for land use, population growth and distribution, urban expansion, development, open space, resource preservation and utilization, air and water quality, and other factors that shape statewide development patterns and significantly influence the quality of the state’s environment.
This bill would require, beginning on January 1, 2021, that the office maintain a registry called the California Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry for the purposes of identifying and listing carbon sequestration projects in the state that are seeking funding from state agencies or private entities. The bill would require, no later than July 1, 2021, that the office, in collaboration with the Strategic Growth Council, create an application process for project applicants to have their carbon sequestration projects listed on the registry, with the office ensuring that these projects meet certain minimum criteria, as specified. The bill would require the office to establish a mechanism for removing these projects from the registry once funded and for tracking the outcomes of those projects, as specified. The bill would require project proponents to notify the office when a project is completed and provide monitoring and reporting data at least annually for the duration of the contract terms of the project. The bill would require the office to track carbon sequestration benefits of projects and report those benefits to the board for inclusion, as appropriate, in calculations pertaining to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions goals.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Part 5.5 (commencing with Section 38575) is added to Division 25.5 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

PART 5.5. Carbon sequestration

38575.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Climate change is causing historic droughts, devastating wildfires, storms, extreme heat, the death of millions of trees, billions of dollars in property damage, and is threatening human health and food supplies.
(b) California has set ambitious targets to reduce the effects of climate change by reducing carbon emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
(c) In 2018, Governor Brown established Executive Order No. B-55-18, creating a state goal to reach greenhouse gas neutrality by no later than 2045 and to maintain net negative greenhouse gas emissions thereafter, and directing the state board to work with relevant state agencies to develop a framework for implementation and accounting that tracks progress toward these goals.
(d) In 2019, Governor Newsom established Executive Order No. N-19-19, directing that every aspect of state government redouble its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change while building a sustainable, inclusive economy.
(e) The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recognized that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over preindustrial times will require not only a swift cut in global carbon emissions from human sources, but also the employment of land use practices and technology that directly remove heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The IPCC’s special report entitled “Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius,” issued October 6, 2018, suggests global carbon removals of as much as six gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year will be needed by 2030 to meet the goal.
(f) Land-based carbon sequestration projects can have significant positive benefits in helping California’s communities be resilient in the face of climate change. Forestry management, healthy soils, wetlands restoration, mountain meadows restoration, and other land-based carbon sequestration projects help limit local community risk to the impacts of wildfire, sea level rise, temperature increases, and changes in global weather patterns.
(g) Direct air capture, direct water capture, and carbon capture utilization and sequestration technologies are still relatively new, but according to the IPCC the successful deployment of these technologies, in addition to dramatic emissions reductions, will be crucial to successfully averting the worst impacts of climate change. These technologies offer the potential to create entirely new industries around recycling carbon dioxide emissions into useful products such as clean fuels or materials, and offer the potential to create entirely new clean industrial hubs in resource-rich parts of California, including the Central Valley, Imperial Valley, Inland Empire, Sierra Nevada, and coastal regions.
(h) A recent report released by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory showed that, even without buying offsets from out of state and by just using technology in existence today, California can remove on the order of 125,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere by 2045 while creating local jobs and local industries at a cost of less than 0.4 percent of the state’s annual gross domestic product. The study further found that California has over 17 billion tons of safe storage in just two areas in the Central Valley, and over 200 billion tons of storage capacity may be available in geologic formations in California to permanently store carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere.

38575.1.
 For purposes of this division, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Natural and working lands-based carbon sequestration” means sustainable resource management practices, changes in land use, preservation of natural resources, and other practices that result in long-term removal, capture, or sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow or reverse atmospheric carbon dioxide pollution and to mitigate or reverse global warming.
(b) “Registry” means the California Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry established pursuant to Section 38575.3.

38575.2.
 (a) No later than July 1, 2021, the Natural Resources Agency, in coordination with the California Environmental Protection Agency, the state board, and the Department of Food and Agriculture shall establish carbon sequestration goals for natural and working lands.
(b) The state board, as part of its scoping plan prepared pursuant to Section 38561, shall establish carbon dioxide removal targets for 2030 and beyond. The state board shall consider a range of targets, including those in line with the IPCC’s special report entitled “Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius,” issued October 6, 2018, and leading carbon removal commitments globally, as well as recent and emerging research on carbon dioxide removal potential in California and market and technology conditions.

38575.3.
 Beginning on January 1, 2021, the Office of Planning and Research shall establish and maintain a registry called the California Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry for the purposes of identifying and listing carbon removal projects in the state that are seeking funding from state agencies or private entities. Carbon sequestration projects may include natural and working lands-based carbon sequestration projects.

38575.4.
 Beginning on January 1, 2021, projects that have applied for funding from one of the state programs funded from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and that meet minimum program requirements to ensure they provide carbon sequestration benefits, but which did not receive funding from the state because of limited availability of funds, shall be listed on the registry.

38575.5.
 No later than July 1, 2021, the Office of Planning and Research, in collaboration with the Strategic Growth Council, shall create an application process for project applicants to have their carbon removal projects listed on the registry. The Office of Planning and Research shall ensure that projects meet the following minimum criteria before listing them on the registry:
(a) Achieve long-term carbon sequestration and utilization benefits.
(b) Include monitoring and reporting of carbon sequestration benefits over time.
(c) Improve the state’s resilience to climate change.

38575.6.
 If a state or private entity contacts the Office of Planning and Research and chooses to fund a project on the registry, the Office of Planning and Research shall establish a mechanism for retiring the listing from the registry once it is funded and tracking the outcome of the project to ensure it is completed. The project proponent shall notify the Office of Planning and Research when the carbon removal project is completed, and shall provide to the office monitoring and reporting data at least annually for the duration of the contract terms of the project.

38575.7.
 The state board shall track carbon sequestration benefits derived from projects funded through the registry and report those benefits to the state board for inclusion, as appropriate, in calculations pertaining to the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits or other emissions goals under this division. Projects listed on the registry shall not create credits for the purposes of market-based compliance mechanisms developed or administered by the state board pursuant to this division, and shall not be used by a state or private entity to offset a statutory or regulatory obligation to reduce emissions under this division.