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SB-535 Wildfires and forest fires: air emissions.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/29/2019 02:00 PM
SB535:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 29, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 535


Introduced by Senator Moorlach

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 38561 of add Section 39736 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to greenhouse gases.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 535, as amended, Moorlach. California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: scoping plan. Wildfires and forest fires: air emissions.
Existing law requires the State Air Resources Board to approve and begin implementing a comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants to achieve a reduction in methane by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gases by 40%, and anthropogenic black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by 2030, as specified.
The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 establishes the state board as the state agency responsible for monitoring and regulating sources emitting greenhouse gases.
This bill would require, no later than May 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, the state board, in consultation with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, to submit a specified report to the Legislature that includes the greenhouse gas, criteria air pollutant, and short-lived climate pollutant emissions from wildfires and forest fires; an assessment of the increased severity of wildfires and forest fires from the impacts of climate change; and a calculation of the increase in the emissions of criteria air pollutants, greenhouse gases, and short-lived climate pollutants based on the increased severity of wildfires and forest fires assessed.

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 designates the State Air Resources Board as the state agency charged with monitoring and regulating sources of emissions of greenhouse gases. The state board is required 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.

The act requires the state board to prepare and approve a scoping plan for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and to update the scoping plan at least once every 5 years.

This bill would require the state board to include greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires and forest fires, as specified, in the scoping plan.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 39736 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

39736.
 (a) No later than May 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, the state board, in consultation with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, shall submit a report to the Legislature that contains, but is not limited to, the following information:
(1) The greenhouse gas, criteria air pollutant, and short-lived climate pollutant emissions from wildfires and forest fires, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Fires that occurred as a result of an act of nature.
(B) Fires that were permitted or prescribed by law, such as tree thinning, agricultural burning, and right-of-way maintenance.
(C) Fires that were not permitted by law, but were caused by humans intentionally, such as arson.
(D) Fires that occurred incidentally, such as sparks from a motor vehicle or an arcing power line.
(2) An assessment, to the extent feasible, of the increased severity of wildfires and forest fires from the impacts of climate change.
(3) A calculation, to the extent feasible, of the increase in the emissions of criteria air pollutants, greenhouse gases, and short-lived climate pollutants based on the increased severity of wildfires and forest fires assessed pursuant to paragraph (2).
(b) The state board shall identify what, if any, information in the report required pursuant to subdivision (a) should be included in the scoping plan prepared pursuant to Section 38561.
(c) The report required to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SECTION 1.Section 38561 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
38561.

(a)On or before January 1, 2009, the state board shall prepare and approve a scoping plan, as that term is understood by the state board, for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gases by 2020 under this division. The state board shall consult with all state agencies with jurisdiction over sources of greenhouse gases, including the Public Utilities Commission and the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, on all elements of its plan that pertain to energy-related matters including, but not limited to, electrical generation, load based-standards or requirements, the provision of reliable and affordable electrical service, petroleum refining, and statewide fuel supplies to ensure the greenhouse gas emissions reduction activities to be adopted and implemented by the state board are complementary, nonduplicative, and can be implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

(b)(1)The plan shall identify and make recommendations on direct emissions reduction measures, alternative compliance mechanisms, market-based compliance mechanisms, and potential monetary and nonmonetary incentives for sources and categories of sources that the state board finds are necessary or desirable to facilitate the achievement of the maximum feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

(2)The state board shall include in the plan greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires and forest fires, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A)Fires that occurred as a result of an act of nature.

(B)Fires that were permitted or prescribed by law, such as tree thinning, agricultural burning, and right-of-way maintenance.

(C)Fires that were not permitted by law but were caused by humans intentionally, such as arson.

(D)Fires that occurred incidentally, such as sparks from a motor vehicle or an arcing power line.

(c)In making the determinations required by subdivision (b), the state board shall consider all relevant information pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs in other states, localities, and nations, including the northeastern states of the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

(d)The state board shall evaluate the total potential costs and total potential economic and noneconomic benefits of the plan for reducing greenhouse gases to California’s economy, environment, and public health, using the best available economic models, emission estimation techniques, and other scientific methods.

(e)In developing its plan, the state board shall take into account the relative contribution of each source or source category to statewide greenhouse gas emissions, and the potential for adverse effects on small businesses, and shall recommend a de minimis threshold of greenhouse gas emissions below which emissions reduction requirements will not apply.

(f)In developing its plan, the state board shall identify opportunities for emissions reduction measures from all verifiable and enforceable voluntary actions, including, but not limited to, carbon sequestration projects and best management practices.

(g)The state board shall conduct a series of public workshops to give interested parties an opportunity to comment on the plan. The state board shall conduct a portion of these workshops in regions of the state that have the most significant exposure to air pollutants, including, but not limited to, communities with minority populations, communities with low-income populations, or both.

(h)The state board shall update its plan for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions at least once every five years.