Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1519 Forestry: fuels transportation program: biomass energy facility: grant program.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 4615) is added to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

Article  8.5. Fuels Transportation Program
4615.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Agency” means the Natural Resources Agency.
(2) “Disadvantaged community” means a community identified as a disadvantaged community pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) “Eligible community” means a community that meets all of the following criteria:
(A) Is a wildland-urban interface community in a state responsibility area or an area with an elevated fire risk.
(B) Is designated as a “firewise” community or has a community wildfire protection plan approved by the department.
(C) Partners with a community-based nonprofit organization that has among its primary objectives wildfire prevention, planning, or education.
(D) Satisfies any other reasonable criteria the agency deems appropriate.
(4) “Low-income community” means a community as defined in Section 39713 of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) “Wildfire risk” may include, but is not limited to, risk posed by either of the following:
(A) Insect pests or plant diseases injurious to timber.
(B) Forest growth.
(b) (1) The agency shall develop and implement a fuels transportation program that provides competitive grants or other financial incentives for projects in eligible communities to conduct fuels reduction efforts that minimize wildfire risk or decrease the intensity of a wildfire in or around a community.
(2) Moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, created pursuant to Section 16428.8 of the Government Code, shall be available for allocation by the agency for the purposes of this subdivision and consistent with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Investment Plan and Communities Revitalization Act (Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 39710) of Part 2 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code).
(c) The fuels transportation program shall offer grants or other financial incentives to offset the costs of transporting fuels to a biomass energy facility. Based upon the distance of the materials from a biomass energy facility, the grants or financial assistance shall be tiered as follows:
(1) Up to twenty dollars ($20) per bone dry ton for communities that are located less than 20 miles away from a biomass energy facility.
(2) Up to twenty-five dollars ($25) per bone dry ton for communities that are located between 20 and 30 miles away from a biomass energy facility.
(3) Up to thirty dollars ($30) per bone dry ton for communities that are located more than 30 miles away from a biomass energy facility.
(d) (1) Fuels transportation program grants or financial incentives may be made to cities, counties, districts, or nonprofit organizations. The agency shall develop criteria for the review and approval of applications that shall include the establishment of cost-sharing requirements and appropriate oversight and reporting requirements.
(2) The agency may waive or reduce the cost-sharing requirements for projects that directly benefit or occur in a disadvantaged or low-income community. The cost-sharing requirement may be fulfilled in the form of cash, in-kind services or materials, or any combination of those, as determined by the agency.
4617.
 The Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of the Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) does not apply to any funding or financial assistance programmatic guidelines developed pursuant to this article.