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AB-2629 Conservation and mitigation banks: report.(2013-2014)

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AB2629:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2629


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

February 21, 2014


An act to amend Section 1799 of the Fish and Game Code, relating to fish and wildlife resources.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2629, as amended, Bloom. Conservation and mitigation banks: expedited review and approval. report.
Existing law provides that no conservation bank, mitigation bank, or conservation and mitigation bank is operative, vested, or final, nor bank credits issued, until the Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved the bank in writing and a conservation easement has been recorded on the site. Existing law requires the department to provide an annual report to the Legislature that includes, among other things, information determined by the department to be relevant in assessing the effectiveness of the department’s mitigation and conservation banking program.
This bill would require the department to also include in the annual report the number of bank applications received for a proposed bank site that is concurrently a federally approved conservation or mitigation bank.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact later legislation that would create an expedited review and approval process by the department of an entity applying to the department to establish a conservation bank or mitigation bank for threatened, endangered, or other special status species if that entity already has a federally approved conservation bank or mitigation bank for that species.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1799 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

1799.
 (a) Until the department has approved a bank, in writing, and, if applicable, a conservation easement has been recorded on the site, no bank shall be operative, vested, or final, nor bank credits issued. No amendment to an approved bank shall be effective without the written approval of the department.
(b) Following approval of a final bank agreement package and establishment of a bank, the department shall conduct compliance review activities as provided in the approved bank enabling instrument.
(c) (1) The department shall establish and maintain a database that allows bank sponsors to accurately update and add information about mitigation and conservation banks. This data shall be available on the department’s Internet Web site or accessible by a link from the department’s Internet Web site. The available information shall include, but is not limited to, the total number of each type of bank credit, the types of credits sold or obligated, the number of credits sold or obligated, the number of credits applied, the balance of each type of credit remaining, the status of the species and habitat at the bank, links to the bank’s long-term management plans, and links to the complete annual monitoring reports required by departmental policy.
(2) Information contained in the database created pursuant to former Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 1850) on January 1, 2011, shall be incorporated into the database established pursuant to paragraph (1).
(d) By January 1, 2014, and annually thereafter, the department shall provide a report to the Legislature. The report shall include the following information based on data from the previous calendar year:
(1) Number of new bank applications, prospectuses, bank agreement packages, and amendments received.
(2) Number of bank applications approved, rejected because not complete, rejected because not acceptable, and withdrawn.
(3) Name of new or existing bank, geographic location, number of acres, number of credits approved for each habitat type or species, and number of credits sold.
(4) An accounting of fees collected pursuant to this chapter.
(5) A statement of whether or not the timelines for bank review in this chapter were met.
(6) Number of bank applications received for a proposed bank site that is concurrently a federally approved conservation or mitigation bank.

(6)

(7) Other information determined by the department to be relevant in assessing the effectiveness of the department’s mitigation and conservation banking program.
(e) (1) The department shall collect fees to pay for all or a portion of the department’s bank implementation and compliance costs.
(2) The department shall collect a total payment of sixty thousand ($60,000) per bank, apportioned by an amount that equals the ratio of the number of credits released to the total number of credits in the bank, and shall be identified in the bank enabling instrument. Payments shall be due following each credit release no later than the due date for the submission of the bank’s annual report. The payments shall be submitted following each credit release and no later than the time of the submission of the bank’s annual report. The department may require the bank to cease selling credits and may stop credit releases until these fees are paid in full. The department shall assess a penalty of 10 percent of the amount of fees due if there is a failure to remit the amount payable when due.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact later legislation that would do the following:

(a)Create an expedited review and approval process by the Department of Fish and Wildlife for an entity applying to the Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish a conservation bank or mitigation bank for threatened, endangered, or other special status species if that entity already has a federally approved conservation bank or mitigation bank for those threatened, endangered, or other special status species for which the entity is seeking a state approved conservation bank or mitigation bank.

(b)Require an entity to provide the Department of Fish and Wildlife any information required by, and provided to, the appropriate federal regulatory entity for the approval and ongoing monitoring and oversight for compliance and effectiveness of the federally approved conservation bank or mitigation bank, including, but not limited to, the prospectus, any survey work information, progress reports, and federal credits paperwork.

(c)Require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to utilize for the expedited review and approval process the information specified in subdivision (b).