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AB-2518 Innovative forest products and mass timber.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/21/2018 09:00 PM
AB2518:v93#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2518
CHAPTER 637

An act to add Article 10 (commencing with Section 4630) to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, relating to forestry.

[ Approved by Governor  September 21, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 21, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2518, Aguiar-Curry. Innovative forest products and mass timber.
Existing law establishes the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in the Natural Resources Agency. Existing law declares that a thriving in-state forest products sector provides public benefits, including employment opportunities in both rural and urban areas, and economic development for rural communities. Existing law requires the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to establish a working group on expanding wood product markets, as provided.
This bill would require, on or before January 31, 2020, the department, in consultation with the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, to identify barriers to in-state production of mass timber and other innovative forest products, as those terms are defined, and develop solutions that are consistent with the state’s climate objectives on forest lands. The bill would require the department to collaborate with the working group described above, other state agencies, and independent experts, including with apprenticeship programs of organized labor, community colleges, and others with similar expertise, on innovative forest products and mass timber workforce training and job creation.
This bill would require the Forest Management Task Force, in consultation with specified entities, to develop recommendations for the siting of additional wood product manufacturing facilities in the state.
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) Dead trees and living small diameter trees and brush present significant wildfire risks and potentially eliminate the carbon dioxide reduction gains that have been made in the state. Additionally, they potentially undermine the long-term management of California’s forests by eroding management objectives designed to sequester maximum amounts of carbon in the ground and in vegetation, including trees.
(b) It is possible, through new technologies, to use some of this wood in new products, and it is equally possible to expand California’s wood products exports. The new and expanded markets will need a trained workforce that will provide benefits to the state, especially to rural communities where wood product manufacturing and milling has diminished over the years.
(c) After the devastating wildfires of 2017–18, California is focused appropriately on the many ways it should expand the pace and scale of activities in its forested landscape to reduce the risk of wildfires, to manage forestlands for improved climate resiliency, and to provide economic benefits especially to rural communities. One aspect of that work is to recognize the emergence of a new industry that is being developed in many western states that can transform high hazard and burned trees into products that can create new businesses, build needed buildings, and create jobs.
(d) The development of a mass timber industry in California will reduce the state’s reliance on imported timber and mass timber manufactured elsewhere. The use of mass timber building material is an important component for the construction and rebuilding of buildings in fire-damaged areas, future home and business construction, and public buildings such as fire stations and schools or modular classrooms.
(e) Based on work already undertaken by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s administration through the Timber Task Force and Executive Order B-52-18 in support of wood products innovation, it is appropriate to establish benchmarks and timelines for the state’s next steps to develop this industry within the state and to keep pace with the development of this industry in other states.

SEC. 2.

 Article 10 (commencing with Section 4630) is added to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  10. Innovative Forest Products and Mass Timber

4630.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Innovative forest products” means products made using small-diameter woody materials, brush, and dead trees removed from fire hazard areas identified by the department and that are milled and manufactured in California to the maximum extent possible.
(b) “Mass timber” means prefabricated wood products consisting of not less than three layers of solid-sawn lumber or structural composite lumber in which adjacent layers are cross-oriented and bonded with structural adhesives, dowels, or nails to form a solid wood element and that are milled and manufactured in California to the maximum extent possible.

4630.1.
 (a) On or before January 31, 2020, the department, in consultation with the board, shall identify barriers to in-state production of mass timber and other innovative forest products, and shall develop solutions that are consistent with the state’s climate objectives on forest lands.
(b) The department shall collaborate, in implementing this section, with members of the working group established pursuant to Section 717, other state agencies, and independent experts, including with apprenticeship programs of organized labor, community colleges, and others with similar expertise, on innovative forest products and mass timber workforce training and job creation.

4630.2.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2020, the Forest Health Task Force pursuant to Executive Order B-52-18 or its successor entity shall, in consultation with the Governor’s Office of Business Development, the Joint Institute for Wood Products Innovation in the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, private industry, investors, and other stakeholders it deems appropriate, develop recommendations for siting of additional wood product manufacturing facilities in the state. These recommendations shall include but are not limited to:
(1) A financially viable proposal for the development and construction of at least one new mass timber production facility that can manufacture mass timber panels that can be cross or dowel laminated or use similar mass timber technology.
(2) Identify and propose the necessary incentives needed to attract private investment to construct such a mass timber production facility in California.
(3) Identify other former manufacturing or wood processing sites that may be suitable for future investment.
(b) In developing the recommendations pursuant to subdivision (a), it is the intent of the Legislature that the location and activities of the mass timber production facilities, to the extent feasible, meet the following:
(1) Be adjacent to a high or very high fire hazard severity zone, as identified by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and be capable of processing materials generated as a result of fuel treatments or other forest management practices.
(2) Generate mass timber workforce training and job creation opportunities.
(3) Be located in, or be proximate to, areas that are near the locations of large landscape fires of greater than 50,000 acres that have occurred since 2005 and in areas identified as federal opportunity zones or in areas that have an average household income of 5 percent below the state’s median household income.