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AB-1187 Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2017.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
AB1187:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1187


Introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia

February 17, 2017


An act to add Title 24 (commencing with Section 110100) to the Government Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1187, as introduced, Eduardo Garcia. Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2017.
Existing law establishes the California Environmental Protection Agency under the supervision of the Secretary for Environmental Protection, consisting of various boards, offices, and departments, and vests the agency with authority over various environmental matters.
This bill would establish the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2017, which would authorize the Secretary for Environmental Protection and the heads of the various boards, offices, and departments within the California Environmental Protection Agency to use crowdsourcing and citizen science approaches to conduct activities designed to advance the mission of the California Environmental Protection Agency. This bill would impose specified duties with regard to crowdsourcing and citizen science projects, including promoting these projects. The bill would require the California Environmental Protection Agency to provide the Legislature with a summary of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project conducted by the California Environmental Protection Agency during the 2 previous fiscal years, which shall include specified information, including a description of the proposed goals of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The intent of this measure is to harness the expertise, ingenuity, and creativity of all people to contribute to innovation in California and to help solve problems or scientific questions by encouraging and increasing the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science methods within the California Environmental Protection Agency and its boards, departments, and offices, as appropriate, and to thereby also increase access to, and awareness of, projects.
(b) Citizen science projects utilizing community monitoring with low-cost sensor technology will complement and enhance data collection for public health and environmental management goals. Where governmental data collection programs exist, this measure would enhance these efforts and extend the government’s capability to collect data, provide coverage for gaps in monitoring programs, and offer real-time data points to aid collaborative government and community efforts. A recent report from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment states that coreporting of criteria, air toxics, and greenhouse gas emissions for the facilities subject to the cap-and-trade program would aid in the investigation of emission impacts; however, currently there is no coreporting of greenhouse gas and toxic emissions. Community monitoring utilizing citizen science addresses this type of data gap, and would aid in analyzing the benefits and impacts of climate change programs, especially in disadvantaged communities, providing a check on the transparency of programs that are charged with benefiting and not burdening these communities.
(c) Crowdsourcing and citizen science projects have a number of unique benefits, including accelerating scientific research and data acquisition, improving science literacy, empowering Californians to promote and protect public health, and connecting citizens to the missions of state agencies.
(d) Granting the California Environmental Protection Agency and its boards, departments, and offices, the express authority to use crowdsourcing and citizen science, encouraging their appropriate use, including protection of human subjects and other ethical considerations, to advance state agency missions and stimulate and facilitate broader public involvement in the innovation process will yield numerous benefits to the state agencies and citizens who participate in those projects.
(e) Response capacities of the California Environmental Protection Agency and its boards, departments, and offices have been challenged by public health emergencies, ranging from chemical leaks to pesticide drifts into neighboring communities. Necessary information needed for improved response capacities is lacking due to barriers such as the lack of sustainable community air monitoring networks and strong trusting relationships between government responders and those communities who are impacted. This highlights the importance of being able to rapidly deploy community air monitoring networks using citizen science, improving translation and communication of the pollutants to which communities may be exposed to increase understanding, making the information publicly available in real time, and implementing measures to minimize exposure and to better understand public exposure levels. Community monitoring networks will enable the California Environmental Protection Agency and its boards, departments, and offices to more effectively and quickly respond to unanticipated events.

SEC. 2.

 Title 24 (commencing with Section 110100) is added to the Government Code, to read:

TITLE 24. Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2017

110100.
 This title shall be known, and may be cited, as the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2017.

110100.5.
 For purposes of this title:
(a) “CEPA” means the California Environmental Protection Agency and any boards, departments, and offices created within the California Environmental Protection Agency.
(b) “Citizen science” means a form of open collaboration in which individuals or organizations participate in the scientific process with the state agency, including:
(1) Enabling the formulation of research questions.
(2) Creating and refining project design.
(3) Conducting scientific experiments.
(4) Collecting and analyzing data.
(5) Interpreting the results of data.
(6) Developing technologies and applications.
(7) Making discoveries.
(8) Solving problems.
(9) Monitoring neighborhood scale pollution.
(10) Complementing regulatory monitoring.
(11) Collecting data to measure the performance of pollution reduction measures, including, but not limited to, climate investments, regulations, permitting, and enforcement activities.
(c) “Crowdsourcing” means using the collective intelligence of individuals and community-based organizations to obtain data, ideas, or content, especially from an online community. The following components could provide a framework for understanding the utility of crowdsourcing in protecting and promoting public health, including:
(1) Knowledge discovery and management.
(2) Distributed human intelligence tasking.
(3) Broadcast search.
(4) Peer-vetted creative production.
(5) Other purposes of gathering and sharing data.
(6) Increasing access to public participation in democratizing environmental protection.
(7) Awareness of pollution, hazardous site cleanups, and enforcement activities.
(8) Related projects.
(d) “Data” means quantifiable pieces of information or facts, e.g., a measurement or location. “Data” shall not include a written document or analysis.
(e) “Participant” means any individual or community-based organization that has consented to volunteer in a crowdsourcing or citizen science project under this title.
(f) “Related entity” means either a contractor or subcontractor, at any tier, with the CEPA or a supplier, user, customer, cooperating party, grantee, investigator, fellow, or detailee of the CEPA.
(g) “Secretary” means the Secretary for Environmental Protection.

110101.
 (a) The secretary and the heads of the boards, departments, and offices within the CEPA may use crowdsourcing and citizen science approaches, with guidance from an external advisory committee, to conduct activities designed to advance the mission of the CEPA or the joint mission of CEPA with other state entities.
(b) The secretary and the heads of any boards, departments, and offices engaged in a crowdsourcing or citizen science project shall ensure broad public participation and shall promote crowdsourcing and citizen science projects to encourage broad participation of consenting participants.
(c) The secretary and the heads of any boards, departments, and offices engaged in a crowdsourcing or citizen science project shall develop protocols regarding obtaining voluntary services and obtaining consent, registering volunteers, and any necessary disclosures relating to participation in a crowdsourcing or citizen science project.

110102.
 The secretary and the heads of multiple boards, departments, and offices within the CEPA may enter into a contract or other agreement to ensure methodologically and ethically sound activities that ensure equity for impacted communities with a for-profit or nonprofit private sector entity or a private institution of higher education.

110103.
 In carrying out crowdsourcing and citizen science activities, the secretary and the heads of multiple boards, departments, and offices within the CEPA working cooperatively, may:
(a) Use funds appropriated by the Legislature.
(b) Publicize projects and accept funds or in-kind support for crowdsourcing and citizen science activities from other local or state agencies, for-profit or nonprofit private sector entities, including private institutions of higher education, or a state, tribal, local, or foreign government agency, including a public institution of higher education.

110104.
 (a) The CEPA shall improve on efforts through lessons learned by various assessments. The CEPA shall provide the Legislature with a summary of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project conducted by the CEPA during the two previous fiscal years, which shall include all of the following:
(1) A description of the proposed goals of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project, any lessons learned, and proposed next steps.
(2) The participation rates, submission levels, number of consents, or any other statistic that might be considered relevant in each crowdsourcing and citizen science project.
(3) A description of the resources, including personnel and funding, that were used in the execution of each crowdsourcing and citizen science project, the activities for which the resources were used, and how the obligations and expenditures relating to the project’s execution were allocated among the accounts of the CEPA.
(4) A summary of the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science methods by the CEPA, including any interagency and multisector partnerships.
(b) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.