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AB-1573 Marine fisheries: experimental fishing permits: letters of authorization.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/11/2018 09:00 PM
AB1573:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 11, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 02, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1573


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 2833 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy. An act to amend Sections 90, 7090, 7712, and 8834.1 of, to add Sections 1022 and 1023 to, and to repeal Section 8606 of, the Fish and Game Code, relating to fisheries.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1573, as amended, Bloom. Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program. Marine fisheries: experimental fishing permits: letters of authorization.
(1) Existing law, enacted as part of the Marine Life Management Act of 1998, generally establishes a comprehensive plan for the management of marine living resources. Existing law requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop, and submit to the Fish and Game Commission for its approval, a fishery management master plan, and provides for the preparation and approval of fishery management plans, which form the primary basis for managing California’s sport and commercial marine fisheries. Existing law declares various state policies with regard to the management of fishery resources.
Existing law authorizes the department to issue permits, subject to restrictions and regulations that the department determines are desirable, to take or possess, in any part of the state, for scientific, educational, or propagation purposes, mammals, birds and the nests and eggs thereof, fish, amphibians, reptiles, or any other form of plant or animal life.
Existing law requires the commission to encourage the development of new types of commercial fishing gear and new methods of using existing commercial fishing gear by approving permits, known as experimental gear permits, to be issued by the department, consistent with specified policies, for that development or use, subject to certain restrictions.
This bill would repeal these experimental gear permit provisions and instead would authorize the commission to approve experimental fishing permits to be issued by the department for specified purposes that would authorize commercial or recreational marine fishing activity otherwise prohibited by the Fish and Game Code or regulations adopted pursuant to that code. The bill would provide that an experimental fishing permit is subject to certain requirements, including a requirement that activities conducted under the permit be consistent with specified policies enacted as part of the Marine Life Management Act of 1998 and any applicable fishery management plan and a requirement that the permit be subject to certain commission conditions. The bill would require the department to post, and annually update, information regarding approved experimental fishing permits, as specified, on its Internet Web site. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2025, and every 5 years thereafter, to report to the appropriate legislative committees summarizing the benefits of the experimental fishing permit program, as specified. The bill would authorize the commission to charge a permit fee, as prescribed. The bill would make conforming changes.
This bill would authorize the department to issue a letter of authorization to allow for take of marine living resources or to authorize the conducting of activities in marine waters for specified purposes that would otherwise require a license or permit. The bill would require a letter of authorization to be issued for a defined and finite period of time and would provide that a letter of authorization is intended to meet immediate public safety, public health, research, or environmental needs.
(2) Under existing law, any violation of the Fish and Game Code, or of any rule, regulation, or order made or adopted under the code, is generally a misdemeanor.
Because a violation of the terms of an experimental fishing permit or a letter of authorization would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to fix the rates and charges for every public utility, and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. The Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program requires a participating utility, defined as being an electrical corporation with 100,000 or more customers in California, to file with the commission an application requesting approval of a tariff to implement a program enabling ratepayers to participate in electrical generation facilities that use eligible renewable energy resources, consistent with certain legislative findings and statements of intent. Existing law requires a participating utility to permit its customers to purchase electricity pursuant to the tariff until the utility meets its proportionate share of a statewide limitation of 600 megawatts of customer participation. Existing law reserves specified amounts of the 600 megawatts to certain consumers and categories of consumers. Existing law limits the nameplate rated generating capacity of a generating facility eligible under the program to 20 megawatts or less.

This bill would increase the maximum nameplate generating capacity for a generating facility that is eligible under the program to 30 megawatts.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Fisheries Innovation Act of 2018.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Californians value healthy, sustainable ocean fisheries and ecosystems. The Pacific Ocean and its rich marine resources provide valuable environmental, economic, aesthetic, recreational, educational, scientific, nutritional, social, and historic benefits to the people of the state.
(b) A large majority of the fisheries in California’s waters have not been scientifically assessed or actively managed under approved fishery management plans. This threat to ocean health is exacerbated by climate-driven changes that are already impacting fisheries in dynamic and complex ways.
(c) Well-supervised, strategic experimentation that tests hypotheses or new management approaches, or both, and that is aligned with overarching state management goals and research priorities, would likely accelerate the development of innovative scientific and technology tools for improving state fisheries management.
(d) The federal Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) program, authorized by the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1801 et seq.), provides a useful model for advancing on-the-water strategic experimentation. The EFP program has a proven track record for leveraging millions of dollars from fishing industry associations, conservation organizations, and independent research entities toward addressing priority research questions and ultimately improving fisheries management.
(e) A streamlined state Experimental Fishing Permit program would represent a significant step toward ensuring that California’s ocean management can meet the challenges of rapidly changing and unpredictable ocean conditions, and would deliver effective outcomes that protect the state’s natural resources, port communities, and coastal economies.
(f) A state Experimental Fishing Permit program would promote collaborative and cooperative fisheries research and would develop information that would be available for management of state fisheries and, in some cases, inform the development of fishery management plans adopted pursuant to Part 1.7 (commencing with Section 7050) of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code.
(g) In establishing a state Experimental Fishing Permit program, California also can provide a replicable state model for encouraging valuable and productive collaborative fisheries research in coastal waters.

SEC. 3.

 Section 90 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

90.
 The definitions in this chapter govern the construction of Section 1022, Section 1023, Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1700) of Division 2 2, and Division 6 (commencing with Section 5500) 5500), and all regulations adopted pursuant to those provisions.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1022 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

1022.
 (a) The commission may authorize, for research, educational, limited testing, data collection, compensation fishing, conservation engineering, or exploratory fishing, or any combination of these purposes, an EFP to be issued by the department that authorizes commercial or recreational marine fishing activity otherwise prohibited by this code or any regulation adopted pursuant to this code, subject, at a minimum, to all of the following:
(1) Activities conducted under the EFP shall be consistent with policies set forth in Section 7050 and any applicable fishery management plan.
(2) An EFP is subject to those conditions the commission deems necessary to ensure the protection of marine resources, and shall be revoked if the continued use would have an adverse impact on any resource or allocation of a resource, or other adverse impact to established fisheries or other marine living resources.
(3) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), activities conducted under the EFP shall not involve engaging in bottom trawling in ocean waters of the state.
(B) Activities conducted under the EFP may involve engaging in bottom trawling if the EFP is issued to a person who holds a permit issued pursuant to Section 8494 or 8842 and the activities conducted under the EFP are limited to locations where bottom trawling is authorized under the applicable permit.
(4) An EFP exempts a permittee only from the provisions of this code and regulations adopted pursuant to this code specified in the EFP. All other applicable laws and regulations shall remain in effect.
(5) Permits shall be issued pursuant to the process established in subdivision (b).
(b) The commission shall establish by regulation an expeditious process for department review, public notice and comment, commission approval, and prompt department issuance of EFPs, that is consistent with Section 7059.
(c) Upon completion of the activities authorized in an EFP, or periodically under terms specified by the commission, a person fishing under an EFP shall submit to the commission and the department a final report summarizing the EFP research and findings, and any scientific reports or other publications created as a result of the activity.
(d) Unless otherwise specified by the commission, an EFP issued pursuant to this section is valid for a period of one year. However, the department shall not issue an EFP for more than four consecutive years.
(e) The department shall post, and annually update, information regarding approved EFP activities, including information on the fishery and region affected, the experimental intent, and other relevant information on its Internet Web site.
(f) On or before January 1, 2025, and every five years thereafter, the department shall complete and provide to the appropriate legislative committees a report summarizing the approved EFPs and benefits of the EFP program to the sustainability of California fisheries, efficiency of fishing effort, and reduction of bycatch in California fisheries.
(g) The commission may charge a permit fee as necessary to fully recover, but not exceed, all reasonable implementation and administrative costs of the department and the commission relating to the EFP.
(h) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Compensation fishing” means fishing conducted for the purpose of recovering costs associated with resource surveys and scientific studies that support the management of a fishery, or fishing that serves as an incentive for participation in those studies. Compensation fishing may include fishing before, during, or following those surveys or studies.
(2) “Conservation engineering” means the study of fish behavior and the development and testing of new gear technology and fishing techniques that promote efficient and sustainable harvest of target species or reduce collateral effects, such as bycatch and adverse effects on habitat, or both.
(3) “EFP” means an experimental fishing permit.
(4) “Exploratory fishing” means fishing to collect data or conduct other research, typically to provide information that could inform the potential opening of a new fishery or an area currently closed to fishing.

SEC. 5.

 Section 1023 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

1023.
 The department may issue a letter of authorization to allow for take of marine living resources or to authorize the conducting of activities in marine waters in support of testing equipment or methods, data collection, environmental cleanup, hazard removal, surveys for health and safety, or marine fishing activities that would otherwise require a license or permit. A letter of authorization shall be issued for a defined and finite period of time and is intended to meet immediate public safety, public health, research, or environmental needs.

SEC. 6.

 Section 7090 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

7090.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that a proactive approach to management of emerging fisheries will foster a healthy marine environment and will benefit both commercial and sport fisheries and other marine-dependent activities. Therefore, the commission, based upon the advice and recommendations of the department, shall encourage, manage, and regulate emerging fisheries consistent with the policies of this part.
(b) “Emerging For purposes of this section, “emerging fishery,” in regard to a marine fishery, means both of the following:
(1) A fishery that the director has determined is an emerging fishery, based on criteria that are approved by the commission and are related to a trend of increased landings or participants in the fishery and the degree of existing regulation of the fishery.
(2) A fishery that is not an established fishery. “Established fishery,” in regard to a marine fishery, means, prior to January 1, 1999, one or more of the following:
(A) A restricted access fishery has been established in this code or in regulations adopted by the commission.
(B) A fishery, for which a federal fishery management plan exists, and in which the catch is limited within a designated time period.
(C) A fishery for which a population estimate and catch quota is established annually.
(D) A fishery for which regulations for the fishery are considered at least biennially by the commission.
(E) A fishery for which this code or regulations adopted by the commission prescribes at least two management measures developed for the purpose of sustaining the fishery. Management measures include minimum or maximum size limits, seasons, time, gear, area restriction, and prohibition on sale or possession of fish.
(c) The department shall closely monitor landings and other factors it deems relevant in each emerging fishery and shall notify the commission of the existence of an emerging fishery.
(d) The commission, upon the recommendation of the department, may do either, or both, of the following:
(1) Adopt regulations that limit taking in the fishery by means that may include, but not be limited to, restricting landings, time, area, gear, or access. These regulations may remain in effect until a fishery management plan is adopted.
(2) Direct the department to prepare a fishery management plan for the fishery and regulations necessary to implement the plan.
(e) A fishery management plan for an emerging fishery shall comply with the requirements for preparing and adopting fishery management plans contained in this part. In addition to those requirements, to allow for adequate evaluation of the fishery and the acquisition of essential fishery information, the fishery management plan shall provide an evaluation period, which shall not exceed three years unless extended by the commission. During the evaluation period, the plan shall do both of the following:
(1) In order to prevent excess fishing effort during the evaluation period, limit taking in the fishery by means that may include, but need not be limited to, restricting landings, time, area, gear, or access to a level that the department determines is necessary for evaluation of the fishery.
(2) Contain a research plan that includes objectives for evaluating the fishery, a description of the methods and data collection techniques for evaluating the fishery, and a timetable for completing the evaluation.
(f) The commission is authorized to impose a fee on an emerging fishery in order to pay the costs of implementing this chapter. The fees may include, but need not be limited to, ocean fishing stamps and permit fees. The fees may not be levied in excess of the necessary costs to implement and administer this chapter. The commission may reduce fees annually if it determines that sufficient revenues exist to cover costs incurred by the department in administering this chapter. The commission and the department, with the advice of fishery participants and other interested parties, shall consider alternative ways to fund the evaluation of emerging fisheries.
(g) An emerging fishery is subject to this section unless the department incorporates the fishery into a fishery management plan developed under Sections 7070 to 7088, inclusive.
(h) In the event that this section is found to conflict with Section 8606, 1022, 8614, or 8615, this section shall prevail.

SEC. 7.

 Section 7712 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

7712.
 Where a fishery is closed or restricted due to the need to protect a fishery resource, marine mammals, or sea birds, or due to a conflict with other fisheries or uses of the marine environment, it shall be the policy of the department and the commission, consistent with budgetary and personnel considerations, to assist and foster the development of alternative fisheries or alternative fishing gear for those commercial fishermen affected by the restrictions, closures, or resource losses, including, but not limited to, the issuing of experimental gear fishing permits pursuant to Section 8606 for alternative fishing methods or fishing gear consistent with the policies set forth in this division. 1022.

SEC. 8.

 Section 8606 of the Fish and Game Code is repealed.
8606.

(a)The commission shall encourage the development of new types of commercial fishing gear and new methods of using existing commercial fishing gear by approving permits to be issued by the department, consistent with the policies set forth in Section 1700, for that development or use, subject to the following restrictions:

(1)A permit is subject to those conditions that the commission deems necessary to ensure the proper utilization and protection of the marine resources, and to minimize user group and resource allocation conflicts.

(2)A permit is valid for a period of not more than one year, but may be renewed until the Legislature approves or disapproves the permanent use or type of gear pursuant to subdivision (c).

(3)A permit shall be revoked if the continued use would have an adverse impact on any resource, allocation of a resource, or other adverse impact to established fisheries.

(b)A permit may authorize the use of new types of commercial fishing gear and new methods of using existing gear otherwise prohibited by this code and may authorize that use or the use of existing gear in areas otherwise closed to that use by this code.

(c)The commission shall not authorize the issuance of experimental gear permits concerning the use of a gear type in an area, or portion of an area, for more than four consecutive years.

This subdivision applies to all experimental gear permits, whether issued prior to or after January 1, 1992.

(d)Commencing January 1, 1993, the commission shall not authorize the renewal of experimental gear permits originally issued prior to January 1, 1990, but, notwithstanding this subdivision and subdivision (c), may extend all experimental gear permits in existence on the effective date of the act that amended this section during the 1991 portion of the 1991–92 Regular Session of the Legislature to December 31, 1992, regardless of how many years they have been issued.

SEC. 9.

 Section 8834.1 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

8834.1.
 It is unlawful for any person to possess salmon on board, or to land salmon from, a vessel on which exists any type of trawl net, except that salmon taken incidentally with other species with a trawl net may be possessed and landed if authorized to be taken incidentally pursuant to Section 663.10 of Part 663 of Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, pursuant to a permit issued by the commission department under Section 8606, 1022, or pursuant to both.

SEC. 10.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 2833 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
2833.

(a)The commission shall require a green tariff shared renewables program to be administered by a participating utility in accordance with this section.

(b)Generating facilities participating in a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall be eligible renewable energy resources with a nameplate rated generating capacity not exceeding 30 megawatts, except for those generating facilities reserved for location in areas identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as the most impacted and disadvantaged communities pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), which shall not exceed one megawatt nameplate rated generating capacity.

(c)A participating utility shall use commission-approved tools and mechanisms to procure additional eligible renewable energy resources for the green tariff shared renewables program from electrical generation facilities that are in addition to those required by the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1). For purposes of this subdivision, “commission-approved tools and mechanisms” means those procurement methods approved by the commission for an electrical corporation to procure eligible renewable energy resources for purposes of meeting the procurement requirements of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1).

(d)A participating utility shall permit customers within the service territory of the utility to purchase electricity pursuant to the tariff approved by the commission to implement the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program, until the utility meets its proportionate share of a statewide limitation of 600 megawatts of customer participation, measured by nameplate rated generating capacity. The proportionate share shall be calculated based on the ratio of each participating utility’s retail sales to total retail sales of electricity by all participating utilities. The commission may place other restrictions on purchases under a green tariff shared renewables program, including restricting participation to a certain level of capacity each year. The following restrictions shall apply to the statewide 600 megawatt limitation:

(1)(A)One hundred megawatts shall be reserved for facilities that are no larger than one megawatt nameplate rated generating capacity and that are located in areas previously identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as the most impacted and disadvantaged communities. These communities shall be identified by census tract, and shall be determined to be the most impacted 20 percent based on results from the best available cumulative impact screening methodology designed to identify each of the following:

(i)Areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that can lead to negative public health effects, exposure, or environmental degradation.

(ii)Areas with socioeconomic vulnerability.

(B)For purposes of this paragraph, “previously identified” means identified prior to commencing construction of the facility.

(2)Not less than 100 megawatts shall be reserved for participation by residential class customers.

(3)Twenty megawatts shall be reserved for the City of Davis.

(e)To the extent possible, a participating utility shall seek to procure eligible renewable energy resources that are located in reasonable proximity to enrolled participants.

(f)A participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall support diverse procurement and the goals of commission General Order 156.

(g)A participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall not allow a customer to subscribe to more than 100 percent of the customer’s electricity demand.

(h)Except as authorized by this subdivision, a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall not allow a customer to subscribe to more than two megawatts of nameplate generating capacity. This limitation does not apply to a federal, state, or local government, school or school district, county office of education, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, or the University of California.

(i)A participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall not allow any single entity or its affiliates or subsidiaries to subscribe to more than 20 percent of any single calendar year’s total cumulative rated generating capacity.

(j)To the extent possible, a participating utility shall actively market the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program to low-income and minority communities and customers.

(k)Participating customers shall receive bill credits for the generation of a participating eligible renewable energy resource using the class average retail generation cost as established in the participating utility’s approved tariff for the class to which the participating customer belongs, plus a renewables adjustment value representing the difference between the time-of-delivery profile of the eligible renewable energy resource used to serve the participating customer and the class average time-of-delivery profile and the resource adequacy value, if any, of the resource contained in the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program. The renewables adjustment value applicable to a time-of-delivery profile of an eligible renewable energy resource shall be determined according to rules adopted by the commission. For these purposes, “time-of-delivery profile” refers to the daily generating pattern of a participating eligible renewable energy resource over time, the value of which is determined by comparing the generating pattern of that participating eligible renewable energy resource to the demand for electricity over time and other generating resources available to serve that demand.

(l)Participating customers shall pay a renewable generation rate established by the commission, the administrative costs of the participating utility, and any other charges the commission determines are just and reasonable to fully cover the cost of procuring a green tariff shared renewables program’s resources to serve a participating customer’s needs.

(m)A participating customer’s rates shall be debited or credited with any other commission-approved costs or values applicable to the eligible renewable energy resources contained in a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program’s portfolio. These additional costs or values shall be applied to new customers when they initially subscribe after the cost or value has been approved by the commission.

(n)Participating customers shall pay all otherwise applicable charges without modification.

(o)A participating utility shall permit a participating customer to subscribe to the program and be provided with a nonbinding estimate of reasonably anticipated bill credits and bill charges, as determined by the commission, for a period of up to 20 years.

(p)A participating utility shall provide support for enhanced community renewables programs to facilitate development of eligible renewable energy resource projects located close to the source of demand.

(q)The commission shall ensure that charges and credits associated with a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program are set in a manner that ensures nonparticipant ratepayer indifference for the remaining bundled service, direct access, and community choice aggregation customers and ensures that no costs are shifted from participating customers to nonparticipating ratepayers.

(r)A participating utility shall track and account for all revenues and costs to ensure that the utility recovers the actual costs of the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program and that all costs and revenues are fully transparent and auditable.

(s)Any renewable energy credits associated with electricity procured by a participating utility for the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program and utilized by a participating customer shall be retired by the participating utility on behalf of the participating customer. Those renewable energy credits shall not be further sold, transferred, or otherwise monetized for any purpose. Any renewable energy credits associated with electricity procured by a participating utility for the shared renewable energy self-generation program, but not utilized by a participating customer, shall be counted toward meeting that participating utility’s renewables portfolio standard.

(t)A participating utility shall, in the event of participant customer attrition or other causes that reduce customer participation or electrical demand below generation levels, apply the excess generation from the eligible renewable energy resources procured through the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program to the utility’s renewable portfolio standard procurement obligations or bank the excess generation for future use to benefit all customers in accordance with the renewables portfolio standard banking and procurement rules approved by the commission.

(u)In calculating its procurement requirements to meet the requirements of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1), a participating utility may exclude from total retail sales the kilowatthours generated by an eligible renewable energy resource that is credited to a participating customer pursuant to the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program, commencing with the point in time at which the generating facility achieves commercial operation.

(v)All renewable energy resources procured on behalf of participating customers in the participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall comply with the State Air Resources Board’s Voluntary Renewable Electricity Program. California-eligible greenhouse gas allowances associated with these purchases shall be retired on behalf of participating customers as part of the board’s Voluntary Renewable Electricity Program.

(w)A participating utility shall provide a municipality with aggregated consumption data for participating customers within the municipality’s jurisdiction to allow for reporting on progress toward climate action goals by the municipality. A participating utility shall also publicly disclose, on a geographic basis, consumption data and reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases achieved by participating customers in the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program, on an aggregated basis consistent with privacy protections as specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8380) of Division 4.1.

(x)This section does not prohibit or restrict a community choice aggregator from offering its own voluntary renewable energy programs to participating customers of the community choice aggregation.