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AB-529 Electrical utilities: fire safety, prevention, or mitigation services: notice.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/10/2021 09:00 PM
AB529:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 529


Introduced by Assembly Member Bauer-Kahan

February 10, 2021


An act to add Section 8388.5 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 529, as introduced, Bauer-Kahan. Electrical utilities: fire safety, prevention, or mitigation services: notice.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over electrical corporations, local publicly owned electric utilities are under the direction of their governing boards, and electrical cooperatives are subject to the regulatory authority of the commission, except as specified. Existing law requires each electrical corporation, local publicly owned electric utility, or electrical cooperative to construct, maintain, and operate its electrical lines and equipment in a manner that will minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire posed by those electrical lines and equipment.
This bill would require each electrical corporation, local publicly owned electric utility, or electrical cooperative engaging in fire safety, prevention, or mitigation services in a high fire-risk area, as defined, to notify the fire protection district responsible for that area at least 48 hours before work is commenced, except when waiting to commence critical or emergency repairs in order to provide that notification would endanger public health or safety, as specified. The bill would require those electrical utilities to also provide the fire protection district with a copy of any form used to document any daily safety briefing at those worksites no later than 72 hours after the completion of that workday.
By placing additional duties upon local publicly owned electric utilities, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Under existing law, a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because a violation of a commission action implementing the bill’s requirements would be a crime, the 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 specified reasons.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 8388.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8388.5.
 (a) (1) Except as specified in paragraph (2), an electric utility engaging a safety and infrastructure protection team, or otherwise engaging in fire safety, prevention, or mitigation services, in an area designated as a high fire-risk area shall notify the fire protection district responsible for that area at least 48 hours before work is commenced.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if an electric utility determines that commencing critical or emergency repairs is necessary and waiting to commence those repairs in order to provide at least 48 hour’s notice pursuant to paragraph (1) would endanger public health or safety, the electrical utility shall notify the fire protection district responsible for that area as soon as possible.
(b) A notification required pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include the location, time, and type of work to be performed.
(c) In addition to the notification required pursuant to subdivision (a), the electrical utility shall provide the fire protection district with a copy of any form used to document any daily safety briefing at the worksite. The electrical utility shall provide the copy of the form no later than 72 hours after the completion of that workday.
(d) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Electrical utility” means an electrical corporation as defined in Section 218, a local publicly owned electric utility as defined in Section 224.3, or an electrical cooperative as defined in Section 2776.
(2) “Fire protection district” means any special district, or any other municipal or public corporation or district, that is authorized by law to provide fire protection and prevention services.
(3) “High fire-risk area” means an area within a high fire-threat district or very high fire hazard severity zone.
(4) “High fire-threat district” means an area identified as tier 2 (elevated) or tier 3 (extreme) fire risk on the fire threat map maintained by the commission.
(5) “Safety and infrastructure protection team” means personnel used by an electrical utility to perform fire safety, prevention, and mitigation functions to manage wildfire risk.
(6) “Very high fire hazard severity zone” means an area identified by the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Section 51178 of the Public Resources Code or designated by a local agency pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 51179 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act or because 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.