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SB-1160 Public utilities: electrical and communication infrastructure: undergrounding.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/20/2020 09:00 PM
SB1160:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1160


Introduced by Senator Stern

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 320 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1160, as introduced, Stern. Public utilities: electrical and communication infrastructure: undergrounding.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has jurisdiction over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Under existing law, the Legislature has declared that it is the policy of this state to achieve, whenever feasible and not inconsistent with sound environmental planning, the undergrounding of all future electric and communication distribution facilities that are proposed to be erected in proximity to designated state scenic highways and that would be visible from those highways if erected above ground. The commission’s existing Tariff Rule 20A undergrounding program requires electrical corporations to convert overhead electric facilities to underground facilities when doing so is in the public interest for specified reasons.
This bill would require the commission to revise Tariff Rule 20A to authorize and fund the undergrounding of electrical and communication infrastructure within high fire-threat districts and the wildland-urban interface.
Under existing law, a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because a violation of an order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission implementing the provisions of this bill would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 320 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

320.
 (a) (1) The Legislature hereby declares that it is the policy of this state to achieve, whenever feasible and not inconsistent with sound environmental planning, the undergrounding of all future electric and communication distribution facilities which that are proposed to be erected in proximity to any highway designated a state scenic highway pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 260) of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of the Streets and Highways Code and which that would be visible from such those scenic highways if erected above ground. The commission shall prepare and adopt by December 31, 1972, a statewide plan and schedule for the undergrounding of all such those utility distribution facilities in accordance with the aforesaid that policy and the rules of the commission relating to the undergrounding of facilities.

The

(2) The commission shall coordinate its activities regarding the plan with local governments and planning commissions concerned.

The

(3) The commission shall require compliance with the plan upon its adoption.

This section

(4) This subdivision shall not apply to facilities necessary to the operation of any railroad.
(b) (1) The Legislature further finds and declares that it is the policy of the state to underground electrical and communication infrastructure located within high fire-threat districts and the wildland-urban interface.
(2) The commission shall revise Tariff Rule 20A to authorize and fund the undergrounding of electrical and communication infrastructure within high fire-threat districts and the wildland-urban interface.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “high fire-threat district” means the areas identified as tier 2 (elevated) or tier 3 (extreme) fire risk on the fire-threat map maintained by the commission.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.