Today's Law As Amended


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AB-897 Office of Planning and Research: regional climate networks: regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to do all of the following:
(a) Foster regional-scale climate adaptation and resilience that prioritizes the most vulnerable communities by encouraging collaboration among local, regional, and state entities on adaptation and resilience solutions in a way that promotes coordination within each region of the state, promotes coordination among neighboring regions, and integrates planning, investment, and hazard mitigation efforts.
(b) Support the development of regional climate adaptation and resilience plans that build upon and enhance local climate adaptation actions to achieve just and equitable resilience for the most vulnerable communities, public health, infrastructure, natural resources, and California’s economy.
(c) Support the implementation of certified regional climate adaptation and resilience plans by developing guidance for potential state, federal, or private investment in funding regional priority climate adaptation and resilience projects in California.
(d) Build upon the work of the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program under the Office of Planning and Research, the Adaptation Planning Guide and the State Hazard Mitigation Plan under the Office of Emergency Services, and other statewide efforts to address the impacts of climate change.
(e) Reduce the risk of climate change impacts across the state, including, but not limited to, sea level rise, wildfire, drought, flooding, extreme heat, negative effects to agriculture, and invasive species spread.

SEC. 2.

 Section 71133 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71133.
 For purposes of this section and Sections 71134 to 71137, inclusive, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Eligible entity” means a local, regional, tribal, or state organization, including, but not limited to, a city, county, special district, council of government, metropolitan planning organization, joint powers authority, local agency formation commission, regional climate collaborative, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 71130, regional member of the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation, nonprofit organization, community-based organization, tribal government, school district, and higher education institution.
(b) “Regional climate network” means a group of eligible entities whose jurisdictions are located in the same region, and whose combined jurisdiction enhances their effectiveness in responding to climate risks. A regional climate network does not need to cover multiple counties if the county within the network has a population of over 2,000,000 residents.
(c) “Under-resourced community” has the same meaning as in subdivision (g) of Section 71130.
(d) “Vulnerable community” means a community with heightened risk and increased sensitivity to climate change that has less capacity and fewer resources to cope with, adapt to, or recover from climate impacts, in accordance with the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program’s Technical Advisory Council adopted definition and the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s National Risk Index for Natural Hazards.

SEC. 3.

 Section 71134 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71134.
 On or before January 1, 2023, the Office of Planning and Research, through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, shall do all of the following:
(a) Develop and publish on its internet website guidelines on both of the following subjects:
(1) How eligible entities may establish regional climate networks. The guidelines shall account for differences in regional needs and priorities, ensure applicability and relevance to all regions throughout California, including under-resourced communities, and provide guidance to eligible entities for determining the structure of the regional climate networks in their regions.
(2) How governing boards may be established within regional climate networks, including how to ensure equity in representation of eligible entities.
(b) Publish on its internet website the draft guidelines for public review and comment at least 60 days before its adoption of the guidelines.
(c) Consult with other relevant state agencies in developing the guidelines pursuant to this section.

SEC. 4.

 Section 71135 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71135.
 (a) Eligible entities may establish and participate in a regional climate network. Eligible entities shall notify the Office of Planning and Research in writing before the establishment of a regional climate network, and shall notify the Office of Planning and Research in writing of any changes in the membership of that network. As part of this written notice, the proposed or established regional climate network shall inform the Office of Planning and Research of each eligible entity’s role within the network.
(b) Membership in a regional climate network may be modified at any time consistent with this section.
(c) The Office of Planning and Research, through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, shall provide technical assistance to regions seeking to establish a regional climate network, facilitate coordination between regions, and encourage regions to incorporate as many eligible entities into one network as feasible, taking into consideration each region’s unique vulnerabilities and land use challenges. The Office of Planning and Research shall also encourage the inclusion of eligible entities with land use and hazard mitigation planning authority into regional climate networks.
(d) A regional climate network shall develop a regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan and submit the plan to the Office of Planning and Research for review, comments, and certification.
(e) On or before July 1, 2023, the Office of Planning and Research, through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, in collaboration with the Office of Emergency Services, shall develop guidelines that establish standards and required content for a regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) A description of the climate vulnerabilities the regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan seeks to address, and planning assumptions as they relate to the climate vulnerabilities identified in the plan.
(2) An identification of key challenges and barriers to building resilience to climate change impacts facing the region.
(3) A prioritization of projects or actions that are necessary to respond to the climate risks facing the region, particularly in the most vulnerable communities.
(4) Clear identification of the adaptation goals the priority projects or actions are designed to achieve, and the anticipated benefits, including, when feasible, metrics to reflect these benefits. When prioritizing projects or actions in a regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan, a regional climate network shall consider all of the following:
(A) How much of the region’s geography will be affected by the project or action.
(B) The expected nature and anticipated timing of the climate vulnerability that the project or action seeks to address and the ability of the project or action to minimize climate change impacts.
(C) Equity considerations, including the impacts the project or action has on economically disadvantaged communities, climate-vulnerable communities, as defined by the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program’s advisory council established pursuant to Section 71358, and other communities at risk of being disproportionately impacted by climate change.
(D) The benefits of the project or action on public health, vulnerable communities, infrastructure, natural resources, and the economy.
(E) Whether the project or action creates multiple benefits.
(5) An assessment of the regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan’s ability to create regional benefits in response to climate vulnerabilities.
(6) A schedule for phasing implementation of projects and actions across a region.
(7) Required monitoring to assess the impact and ongoing effectiveness of projects and actions and to determine appropriate course corrections that may be needed to minimize the impacts of climate change within a region.
(8) An assessment of the cost of, and the associated financing strategy for, implementing the regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan’s priority projects and actions, including the costs of ongoing monitoring and any necessary postimplementation evaluations.
(9) The use of natural infrastructure to respond to climate vulnerabilities where feasible.
(10) A timeline for the regional climate network to revisit the regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan to reassess and make necessary updates to the plan.
(11) Use of the best available science on the impact of varying levels of greenhouse gas emissions on the region.
(12) Planning information from existing and relevant local or regional planning documents, to the extent appropriate, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Climate adaptation action plans and vulnerability assessments.
(B) Climate action plans.
(C) Safety elements of general plans.
(D) Local hazard mitigation plans.
(E) Sustainable communities strategies.
(F) Certified local coastal programs that have been updated to address sea level rise.
(G) Groundwater sustainability plans.
(H) Urban water management plans.
(I) Integrated regional water management plans.
(J) Regional transportation plans.
(K) Long-range county transportation plans.
(L) Coastal management programs and plans.
(M) Regional or local wildfire mitigation plans.
(N) Regional housing needs assessments.
(O) Energy infrastructure development plans.
(f) In developing the guidelines pursuant to this section, the Office of Planning and Research, through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, shall engage in a public process that encourages participation from all impacted communities, including, but not limited to, local governments, community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations that focus on the environment, social equity, or community resilience, and other proposed eligible entities, as well as private sector groups, and relevant state agencies.
(g) The Office of Planning and Research, through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, shall provide technical assistance to regional climate networks in developing regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans, including guidance on how to submit the plan for review, comments, and certification.
(h) The Office of Planning and Research shall publish on its internet website all of the following:
(1) Draft guidelines for public review and comment at least 60 days before its adoption of the guidelines.
(2) Final guidelines developed pursuant to this section.
(3) Any certified regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans submitted by regional climate networks pursuant to this section.

SEC. 5.

 Section 71136 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71136.
 (a) A regional climate network may engage in activities to address climate change that include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Supporting the development of and updates to regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans, strategies, and programs, including performing qualitative and quantitative research, compiling and hosting relevant data and resources, developing tools, and providing technical assistance.
(2) Supporting the implementation of regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans, hazard and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation strategies, and programs, including evaluating funding and financing mechanisms, monitoring and evaluating progress, and providing technical assistance.
(3) Facilitating the exchange of best practices, policies, projects, and strategies among eligible entities and stakeholders, and between regions on climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation.
(4) Conducting activities to support ongoing coordination and capacity building among eligible entities, including convening working groups, organizing training opportunities, and creating mechanisms for collaboration.
(5) Conducting educational activities for eligible entities, decisionmakers, key stakeholders, and the general public, to increase their understanding of climate change risks and adaptation solutions.
(6) Administering grants to eligible entities.
(b) Regional climate networks shall have, and may exercise, all powers, expressed or implied, that are necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of this part, including, but not limited to, the power to do all of the following:
(1) Apply for and receive grants from federal and state agencies.
(2) Enter into and perform all necessary contracts.
(3) Enter into joint power agreements pursuant to the Joint Exercise of Powers Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(4) Hire staff, define their qualifications and duties, and provide a schedule of compensation for the performance of their duties.
(c) A regional climate network may establish distinct governance procedures and policies that acknowledge regional conditions and accommodate regional needs to administer activities pursuant to this section. Governance procedures and policies shall include processes for eligible entities to participate and strategies for public engagement to ensure a multistakeholder process that incorporates and supports input from vulnerable communities and under-resourced communities, and be consistent with guidelines described in subdivision (c) of Section 71134.
(d) A regional climate network shall comply with requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).
(e) The Office of Planning and Research may request that established regional climate networks submit a biennial report to the Office of Planning and Research that includes, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The participating eligible entities of the regional climate network.
(2) An outline of all activities and the outcome of each activity.
(3) Actions taken by the regional climate network.
(4) An accounting of the administration of, and expenditures made by, the regional climate networks.

SEC. 6.

 Section 71137 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

71137.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2025, the Office of Planning and Research, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, shall make recommendations related to regional adaptation and resilience to relevant policy and budget committees of the Legislature. The recommendations shall include both of the following:
(1) Expanding state support for the work of regional climate networks, including all of the following:
(A) Exploring ways the state can best partner with eligible entities to provide technical assistance to regional climate networks.
(B) How to offer climate services to assist local and regional adaptation and resilience practitioners in identifying, developing, and translating the most appropriate and actionable science for adaptation and resilience efforts. Practitioners include, but are not limited to, staff at eligible entities, community-based organizations, and nonprofit organizations, who plan and implement, or are impacted by, adaptation and resilience projects or actions.
(2) Potential sources of financial assistance and options for distributing state funds to support the creation and implementation of certified regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans pursuant to Section 71135 and to support technical assistance and capacity building to engage vulnerable communities and under-resourced communities in the development of the plans. As part of this recommendation, the Office of Planning and Research may consider providing higher levels of funding to regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans based on the number of people living in vulnerable communities within the region.
(b) (1) A report submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2027, and, as of January 1, 2028, is repealed.