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SB-535 Greenhouse gases: wildfires and forest fires: air emissions.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/27/2019 09:00 PM
SB535:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 27, 2019
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 add amend Section 39736 to 38535 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to greenhouse gases.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 535, as amended, Moorlach. Wildfires Greenhouse gases: 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. Existing law requires the state board to prepare and approve a scoping plan on or before January 1, 2009, for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, as provided, and to update the plan at least once every 5 years.
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. Existing law requires the state board, in consultation with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, to develop, among other things, a report that assesses greenhouse gas emissions associated with wildfire and forest management activities. Existing law requires the state board to develop the report every 5 years, with the first report completed on or before December 31, 2020.
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 require the report to include information, if feasible, regarding the greenhouse gas, criteria air pollutant, and short-lived climate pollutant emissions from wildfires and forest fires; fires, an assessment of the increased severity of wildfires and forest fires from the impacts of climate change; 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 bill would require the state board to identify what, if any, information in the report should be included in the scoping plan. The bill would also reduce the reporting period to every 3 years and require the state board to post the report on the state board’s internet website.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 38535 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

38535.
 (a) The state board, in consultation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, shall develop all of the following:

(a)

(1) A standardized system for quantifying the direct carbon emissions and decay from fuel reduction activities for purposes of meeting the accounting requirements for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund expenditures. This system may include standardized lookup tables by forest stand type, including for oak woodland forests, and harvest or other management prescriptions. The system shall acknowledge that certain expenditures, such as for planning, analysis, modeling, or outreach, will not have a direct greenhouse gas reduction benefit, but will facilitate necessary climate preparedness activities that will have direct greenhouse gas benefits.

(b)

(2) In consultation with academic experts, a historic baseline of greenhouse gas emissions from California’s natural fire regime reflecting conditions before modern fire suppression. This shall be completed on or before December 31, 2020. The baseline may be included within the state board’s natural working lands inventory.

(c)

(3) On or before December 31, 2020, and every five three years thereafter, a report that assesses greenhouse gas emissions associated with wildfire and forest management activities. activities, and includes the following information, if feasible:
(A) 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:
(i) Fires that occurred as a result of an act of nature.
(ii) Fires that were permitted or prescribed by law, such as tree thinning, agricultural burning, and right-of-way maintenance.
(iii) Fires that were not permitted by law, but were caused by humans intentionally, such as arson.
(iv) Fires that occurred incidentally, such as sparks from a motor vehicle or an arcing power line.
(B) An assessment, to the extent feasible, of the increased severity of wildfires and forest fires from the impacts of climate change.
(C) 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 subparagraph (B).
(b) The state board shall identify what, if any, information in the report required pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) should be included in the scoping plan prepared pursuant to Section 38561.
(c) The state board shall post the report developed pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) on the state board’s internet website.

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.