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AB-2545 Department of Fish and Wildlife: lake or streambed alteration agreements.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/26/2018 04:00 AM
AB2545:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2545


Introduced by Assembly Member Gallagher

February 15, 2018


An act to amend add and repeal Section 1601 1618 of the Fish and Game Code, relating to fish and wildlife.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2545, as amended, Gallagher. Department of Fish and Wildlife: lake or streambed alteration agreements: definitions. agreements.
Existing law prohibits an entity from substantially diverting or obstructing the natural flow of, or substantially changing or using any material from the bed, channel, or bank of, any river, stream, or lake, or from depositing certain material where it may pass into any river, stream, or lake, without first notifying the Department of Fish and Wildlife of that activity, and entering into a lake or streambed alteration agreement if required by the department to protect fish and wildlife resources.
This bill would define “river” and “stream” for purposes of these provisions. require the department, until January 1, 2023, to establish procedures for the issuance of a general agreement in lieu of an individual alteration agreement pursuant to these provisions. The bill would require the department to adopt general agreements, as specified, for these activities. The bill would require the department to charge a fee for a general agreement pursuant to specified provisions of law.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1618 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

1618.
 (a) The department shall adopt general agreements for activities described in subdivision (a) of Section 1602 and establish procedures for the issuance of those general agreements.
(b) The department shall include guidance on the definitions of the terms river and stream, and may include guidance on the definitions of the terms bed, bank, and channel, in the general agreements.
(c) A general agreement adopted by the department subsequent to the adoption of regulations pursuant to this section shall be in lieu of an individual agreement described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 1602.
(d) Subparagraph (D) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 1602 and all other time periods to process agreements specified in this chapter do not apply to the issuance of a general agreement adopted by the department pursuant to this section.
(e) A general agreement issued by the department pursuant to this section is a final agreement and is not subject to Section 1603 or 1604.
(f) The department shall charge a fee for a general agreement adopted by the department under this section in accordance with Section 1609.
(g) Nothing in Section 1617 or this section, or in any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall require an entity to obtain a general agreement if that entity prefers to obtain an individual agreement pursuant to this chapter.
(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to codify definitions of “bank,” “bed,” and “channel” for purposes of Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1600) of Division 2 of the Fish and Game Code that are consistent with case law, including the foundational case Rutherford v. State of California (1987) 188 Cal.App.3d 1267, and the definition of “river” and “stream” in Section 1601 of the Fish and Game Code, to protect fish and wildlife resources that depend on natural rivers, streams, and lakes.

SEC. 2.Section 1601 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:
1601.

The following definitions apply to this chapter:

(a)“Agreement” means a lake or streambed alteration agreement.

(b) “Day” means calendar day.

(c) “Emergency” has the same definition as in Section 21060.3 of the Public Resources Code.

(d) “Entity” means any person, state or local governmental agency, or public utility that is subject to this chapter.

(e)(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), “river” and “stream” mean a body of water that flows at least periodically or intermittently through a definite course or channel having banks and that supports fish or other wildlife. This includes watercourses having a surface or subsurface flow that supports or have supported riparian vegetation.

(2)The definition of “river” and “stream” does not include artificial water conveyance infrastructure except to the extent that the artificial water conveyance infrastructure incorporates or occupies a naturally occurring bed, bank, or channel of a preexisting river or stream or replaces a preexisting river or stream for flood control or navigation. For purposes of this paragraph, “artificial water conveyance infrastructure” includes, but is not limited to, canals, flood control channels, irrigation ditches, and drainage ditches, whether lined or unlined.

(3)The exception for artificial water conveyance infrastructure provided in paragraph (2) does not alter the otherwise applicable provisions of Section 1602, including the requirement to provide written notification pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1602, if the construction, operation, or maintenance of artificial water conveyance infrastructure would substantially divert or obstruct the natural flow of, or substantially change or use any material from the bed, channel, or bank of, any river, stream, or lake, or deposit or dispose of debris, waste, or other material containing crumbled, flaked, or ground pavement where it may pass into any river, stream, or lake, and, if that notification is required, the requirement to enter into a final agreement pursuant to Section 1603 if the department determines that the activity may substantially adversely affect an existing fish or wildlife resource.