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SB-412 California Environmental Quality Act: emergency definition.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/12/2021 09:00 PM
SB412:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 12, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 09, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 412


Introduced by Senator Ochoa Bogh
(Coauthor: Senator Wilk)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Lackey and Mayes)

February 12, 2021


An act to amend Section 21060.3 of the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 412, as amended, Ochoa Bogh. California Environmental Quality Act: emergency definition.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment, or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. Existing law provides an exemption to the requirements of CEQA for emergency repairs to public service facilities, projects related to a declared state of emergency, as provided, and specific actions necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency, and defines “emergency” for this purpose.
This bill would expand the definition of “emergency” provided in CEQA to include proactive efforts a project jointly identified by a state or local agency to prevent, minimize, or mitigate loss of, or and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection or the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, with notice to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, as mitigating a high threat to life and safety by preventing, minimizing, or mitigating damage to, to life, health, property, natural resources, or essential public services, resulting from fire, flood, or earthquake or other soil or geologic movements, a catastrophic fire in areas of the state that a lead agency determines, based on substantial evidence, are at a heightened risk of the occurrence of those events. that event. The bill would also specify that “emergency” includes, but is not limited to, man-made or natural occurrences, as specified, and would make other nonsubstantive changes. Because the bill would expand the definition of “emergency” in certain CEQA exemptions, thereby increasing duties on a lead agency to determine whether a project qualifies for those exemptions, 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 a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 21060.3 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21060.3.
 (a) “Emergency” means a sudden, unexpected occurrence, involving a clear and imminent danger, and demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to, life, health, property, or essential public services. “Emergency” includes, but is not limited to, man-made or natural occurrences such as fire, flood, earthquake or other soil or geologic movements, riot, accident, or sabotage.
(b) “Emergency” also means proactive efforts projects jointly identified by either a state or local agency to prevent, minimize, or mitigate loss of, or and either the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection or the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, with notice to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, as mitigating a high threat to life and safety by preventing, minimizing, or mitigating damage to, to life, health, property, natural resources, or essential public services, resulting from fire, flood, or earthquake or other soil or geologic movements, a catastrophic fire in areas of the state that a lead agency determines, based on substantial evidence, are at a heightened risk of the occurrence of those events. that event.

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, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.