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SB-955 Oroville Dam: Citizens Advisory Commission.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/18/2018 09:00 PM
SB955:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 18, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  March 14, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 955


Introduced by Senator Nielsen
(Coauthor: Senator Hertzberg)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Gallagher)

January 30, 2018


An act to add Part 3 (commencing with Section 6600) to Division 3 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 955, as amended, Nielsen. Oroville Dam: Citizens Advisory Commission.
Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources to supervise the maintenance and operation of dams and reservoirs as necessary to safeguard life and property. Under existing law, the department operates the State Water Resources Development System, also known as the State Water Project, composed of the state water facilities, including Oroville Dam.
This bill would create the Citizens Advisory Commission for Oroville Dam as an independent entity within the department. The bill would require the commission to consist of 27 14 members, appointed as prescribed to 3-year terms of office, prescribed, and including 7 the member of the California State Senate representing the City of Oroville, or his or her designee, the member of the California State Assembly representing the City of Oroville, or his or her designee, and members appointed by the City of Oroville, specified cities and 3 members representing specified counties. counties, and county sheriffs. By imposing new duties on cities and counties the City of Oroville, counties, and county sheriffs in connection with the appointment of members to the commission, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would require the department to provide the commission with quarterly onsite tours of the dam and its grounds and to clarify and respond to early comments provided by provide the commission on certain reports about the dam. all information reasonably requested by the commission regarding the construction, rehabilitation or reconstruction, operation, maintenance, and management of the dam. The bill would set forth the organization and duties of the commission, including a requirement that the commission establish bylaws specifying commission authority and making determinations regarding identified issues, including the privacy of information released to the commission by the department. The bill commission and would require the commission to meet at least once every 3 months or, on the call of the chairperson, as often as necessary, and would authorize the commission to hold a closed meeting at the request of the chairperson for the purposes of disclosure of sensitive information regarding the safety or security of the dam. necessary. The bill would require the commission to publish a report at least once every 3 years that provides, among other things, an overview of ongoing maintenance and improvements made at the dam and its site. The bill would prohibit the commission from making regulations or rules to bind operations at the dam. The bill would provide that its provisions are not to be construed to require the disclosure by the department of information that may threaten the security of the dam or the safety of the surrounding community.

Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.

This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Part 3 (commencing with Section 6600) is added to Division 3 of the Water Code, to read:

PART 3. Citizens Advisory Commission for Oroville Dam

6600.
 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) The residents in the communities most immediately affected by the Oroville Dam and its delivery of resources bear the disproportionate burden of risk from any potential natural or manmade disaster as well as daily operations at the dam.
(b) On February 7, 2017, those risks were very clear as a crack in the primary spillway following the release of water precipitated a week-long panic as residents were unsure of what action to take or where to go should the dam collapse or emergency spillway fail.
(c) After days of indecision uncertainty about whether the dam was still safe and how the dam might continue to degrade and conflicting information, information coming from the department and its advisors, emergency responders, and the press, nearly 200,000 residents evacuated were forced to evacuate their homes and fled flee for safer ground. ground with little notice to either the evacuees or emergency response personnel.
(d) Now that Now, the state has undertaken a project to repair the damaged spillway and is considering further renovations at the 50-year old site and on the many appurtenances required for the functioning of the State Water Project, the Project. The Citizens Advisory Commission created by this part should is necessary to provide residents representing a wide cross section of the community, operators of the dam itself, and water users the opportunity to gather at a regularly appointed time to discuss maintenance, findings, reports, and upcoming actions, and to conduct other communications regarding operations, maintenance, and all other activities at the site.

(e)Any information provided to the commission should be readily understandable and as forthcoming as allowed by federal law.

6602.
 As used in this part, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Commission” means the Citizens Advisory Commission created pursuant to Section 6604.
(b) “Dam” means Oroville Dam. Dam, its appurtenant structures, the Feather River Fish Hatchery, and the Thermalito complex.

6604.
 (a) There is hereby created as an independent entity within the department the Citizens Advisory Commission for Oroville Dam. The
(b) The commission shall consist of 27 members 14 members, as follows:

(a)Two members, one appointed by the Assembly Member in whose district the dam is located and one appointed by the Senator in whose district the dam is located.

(b)Three members representing labor, one member appointed by each of the following:

(1)The Central Labor Council of Butte and Glenn Counties.

(2)The Marysville Central Labor Council.

(3)The Mid Valley Building and Construction Trades Council.

(c)Two members representing chambers of commerce, one appointed by the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce and one appointed by the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce.

(d)Seven members representing cities, one member appointed by each of the following:

(1)The City of Biggs.

(2)The City of Gridley.

(3)The City of Live Oak.

(4)The City of Marysville.

(5)The City of Oroville.

(6)The City of Wheatland.

(7)Yuba City.

(e)Three members representing counties, one member appointed by each of the following:

(1)The County of Butte.

(2)The County of Sutter.

(3)The County of Yuba.

(f)Three members who are county deputy sheriffs, one member appointed by each of the following:

(1)The Sheriff of Butte County.

(2)The Sheriff of Sutter County.

(3)The Sheriff of Yuba County.

(g)Two members representing contractors for water from the State Water Project, one appointed from north of the City of Sacramento and one appointed from south of the City of Sacramento.

(h)Two members, one appointed by the department and one appointed by the dam operator, with subject matter expertise in dam safety, flood control, or the construction and maintenance of large infrastructure from a list of five nominations jointly made by the Assembly Member and Senator in whose district the dam is located.

(i)Two members with knowledge of Oroville Dam operations appointed by the department.

(1) Two members appointed by the City Council of the City of Oroville.
(2) Three members appointed by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Butte.
(3) Two members appointed by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sutter.
(4) Two members appointed by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Yuba.
(5) One county deputy sheriff appointed by the Sheriff of Butte County.
(6) One county deputy sheriff appointed by the Sheriff of Sutter County.
(7) One county deputy sheriff appointed by the Sheriff of Yuba County.
(8) The member of the California State Senate representing the City of Oroville, or his or her designee.
(9) The member of the California State Assembly representing the City of Oroville, or his or her designee.
(c) In selecting members, the appointing bodies identified in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (b) shall strive to appoint members who reflect the broad interests of the community they represent.

6606.
 (a) The commission shall selects select its own chairperson by a majority vote of its members.
(b) The term of office of all members shall be three years. years, except those who are members of the Legislature, who shall serve for the duration of their term or terms representing the City of Oroville. If a vacancy occurs due to resignation, death, or absence from three consecutive meetings, the appointing power shall fill the vacancy following receipt of written notification that a vacancy has occurred.

(c)The commission shall establish bylaws that shall specify commission authority and make determinations regarding all of the following:

(1)The publishing of reports.

(2)The privacy of information released to the commission by the department.

(3)Meeting schedules.

(4)All other operational decisions as the commission deems necessary.

(d)

(c) The commission shall meet at least once every three months or, on the call of the chairperson, as often as necessary to carry out the purposes and duties of the commission.

(e)(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), meetings

(d) Meetings of the commission shall be open to the public and held in accordance with Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(2)Notwithstanding Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the commission may hold a closed meeting at the request of the chairperson for the purposes of disclosure of sensitive information regarding the safety or security of the dam.

6608.
 (a) The commission shall do all of the following:
(1) Serve as a nonlegislative representative to the public for the purposes of providing public input and receiving information from water users and the dam operator.
(2) Act as a unified voice from the communities surrounding Oroville Dam to provide public feedback, advice, and best practices to the dam operator.

(3)Provide early comments on annual operations reports of the dam.

(4)

(3) Publish a report at least once every three years that provides all of the following:
(A) An overview of ongoing maintenance and improvements made at the dam and its site.
(B) A register of communications received from the department and other parties to the commission.
(C) Notice of upcoming plans made by the department for the dam and its site.

(D)A list of recommendations for further action regarding the dam and its site, including, but not limited to, its operation, maintenance, or improvement.

(b) The commission shall not make regulations or rules to bind operations at the dam.

6610.
 The department shall do both of the following for the commission:
(a) Provide onsite tours of the dam and its grounds.

(b)Clarify and respond to early comments provided pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 6608 within the final annual operations reports of the dam.

(b) Provide all information reasonably requested by the commission regarding the construction, rehabilitation or reconstruction, operation, maintenance, and management of the dam, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Asset management plans regarding facilities and equipment of the dam.
(2) Scheduled or anticipated repairs, restoration, or replacement of facilities or major equipment.
(3) Changes in flood management rules.

6612.
 The commission shall have the power to visit the dam, its site, and site personnel in furtherance of the goals of this part. The power of visitation specified in this section shall not extend to a situation where institutional security would be jeopardized.

6614.
 Funds may be appropriated from the General Fund for the costs of organizing and operating quarterly meetings of the commission.

6616.

(a)Information provided to the commission shall not indemnify the state from providing that information to the public.

(b)This part shall not be construed to require the disclosure by the department of information that may threaten the security of the dam or the safety of the surrounding community.

SEC. 2.

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act adding Sections 6606 and 6616 to the Water Code imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:

In order to protect public safety, it is in the state’s interest to limit public access to information that would disclose a dam’s vulnerability or pose a security threat.

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.