Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-506 California Environmental Quality Act: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund monies: greenhouse gas emissions: vegetation management projects.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 02/17/2021 09:00 PM
SB506:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 506


Introduced by Senator Jones

February 17, 2021


An act to add Sections 4121 and 21083.06 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 506, as introduced, Jones. California Environmental Quality Act: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund monies: greenhouse gas emissions: vegetation management projects.
(1) The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (act) designates the State Air Resources Board as the state agency responsible for monitoring and regulating sources of emissions of greenhouse gases. The act authorizes the state board to include the use of market-based compliance mechanisms. Existing law requires all moneys, except for fines and penalties, collected by the state board from a market-based compliance mechanism to be deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and to be available upon appropriation by the Legislature. Existing law states that a specified amount is to be annually appropriated, through the 2023–24 fiscal year, from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in the annual Budget Act for specified healthy forest and fire prevention programs and projects. Existing law authorizes the department to administer various programs, including grant programs, relating to forest health and wildfire protection.
This bill would prohibit the department from requiring applicants for a grant or other funds made available to the department from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to consider the greenhouse gas emissions impacts of vegetation management projects pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as a condition of applying for or receiving a grant or other funds from moneys made available to the department from the fund. The bill would define “vegetation management projects” as projects that improve forest health, reduce fuel loading, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by uncontrolled wildfires that involve the thinning of overgrown brush and trees, as specified, by mechanical thinning, piling, pile burning, chipping, prescribed fire, cultural fire, or grazing.
(2) 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. CEQA requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant impact on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. CEQA requires a lead agency to make a good-faith effort, based to the extent possible on scientific and factual data, to describe, calculate, or estimate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from a project and determine the significance of a project’s greenhouse gas emissions.
This bill would prohibit a lead agency, in complying with CEQA, from considering the greenhouse gas emissions impacts of vegetation management projects, as defined above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 4121 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

4121.
 (a) The department shall not require an applicant for a grant or other funding from moneys made available to the department from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, created pursuant to Section 16428.8 of the Government Code, to consider the greenhouse gas emissions impacts of a vegetation management project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)) as a condition of applying for or receiving a grant or other funds from moneys made available from the fund.
(b) For purposes of this section, “vegetation management project” means a project to improve forest health, reduce fuel loading, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by uncontrolled wildfires that involves thinning of overgrown brush, of trees that are 16 inches or less in diameter at breast height or 1.37 meters above the average ground level, or of trees exhibiting signs of disease or pest infestation, by mechanical thinning, piling, pile burning, chipping, prescribed fire, cultural fire, or grazing.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21083.06 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21083.06.
 (a) A lead agency, in complying with this division, shall not consider the greenhouse gas emissions impacts of a vegetation management project.
(b) For purposes of this section, “vegetation management project” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 4121.