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AB-2091 Fire prevention: prescribed burns: insurance pool.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 07/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB2091:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 03, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 12, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2091


Introduced by Assembly Member Grayson

February 07, 2018


An act to amend Sections 730, 731, and 4002 of, to add Section 742 to, and to Section 4002 of, and to add Article 4 (commencing with Section 4500) to Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4 of, the Public Resources Code, relating to fire prevention.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2091, as amended, Grayson. Fire prevention: prescribed burns. burns: insurance pool.
(1) Existing law establishes in the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection consisting of 9 members appointed, selected, and specified members who are selected and approved for appointment on the basis of their educational and professional qualifications and their general knowledge of, interest in, and experience with, among other things, forest management practices.
This bill would rename the board the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection. The bill would additionally require members to have general knowledge of, interest in, and experience with fire prevention. The bill would require at least one member to be selected with a background and understanding of fire prevention, including prescribed fire. The bill would require the board to appoint a prescribed fire advisory committee, as provided, and would require the advisory committee to consult with the board on prescribed fire issues under consideration by the board, including the development of a certificate of specialization, as provided.
(2) Existing law authorizes a person, firm, or corporation, or a group or combination of persons, firms, corporations, or groups, that owns or controls brush-covered land, forest lands, woodland, grassland, shrubland, or any combination thereof within a state responsibility area to apply to the department for permission to utilize a prescribed burning for specified public purposes.
This bill would require the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection to accomplish, on or before July 1, 2020, the establishment of a certificate of specialization, as specified, or the acceptance of a public agency’s independent certification program for prescribed burning management or fire bosses as full qualification, as specified, or both. The bill would require the department, in consultation with the Department of Insurance, on or before January 1, 2020, and until January 1, 2025, if sufficient funding is made available to the department for that purpose, to develop and implement an insurance pool for certified prescribed burn managers, with certification determined adequate by the department and for specified land owners, as provided.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.Section 730 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
730.

(a)There is in the department a State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

(b)(1)On and after January 1, 1998, wherever any reference is made in any law to the State Board of Forestry in the department, the reference shall be deemed to be a reference to, and to mean, the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.

(2)On and after January 1, 2019, wherever any reference is made in any law to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection in the department, the reference shall be deemed to be a reference to, and to mean, the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection.

(3)No existing supplies, forms, signs, or logos shall be destroyed or changed to reflect the name change, and they shall continue to be used until exhausted or unserviceable.

SEC. 2.Section 731 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
731.

All members of the board shall be appointed and shall be selected and approved for appointment on the basis of their educational and professional qualifications and their general knowledge of, interest in, and experience with, problems relating to watershed management, including hydrology and soil science, forest management practices, fish and wildlife, range management, forest economics, fire prevention, or land use planning. Five members shall be selected from the general public, three members shall be selected from the forest products industry, and one member shall be selected from the range livestock industry. At least one member shall be selected with a background and understanding of fire prevention, including prescribed fire. At no time shall a majority of the members, nor any of the members selected from the general public, be persons with a direct personal financial interest, within the meaning of Section 87100 of the Government Code, in timberlands. All members of the board shall represent the general public interest.

SEC. 3.Section 742 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
742.

(a)The board shall appoint a Prescribed Fire Advisory Committee. The committee shall consult with the board on prescribed fire issues under consideration by the board, including the development of a certificate of specialization pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 4500) of Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4.

(b)The advisory committee shall consist of 7 members, who shall be selected as follows:

(1)The member of the board who has a background and understanding of fire prevention, including prescribed fire, described in Section 731.

(2)The director or his or her designee.

(3)A federal forest land manager.

(4)A representative of a local air district.

(5)One representative from the general public with experience conducting prescribed burns.

(6)One representative from the University of California Cooperative Extension.

(7)One representative from tribal communities with experience conducting prescribed burns.

(c)The chair of the board shall appoint the members of the advisory committee designated in paragraphs (3) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (b). The members shall serve at the pleasure of their respective appointing powers.

(d)The members shall serve without compensation, except that each member shall be reimbursed for his or her actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties.

(e)The chair of the advisory committee shall be the person identified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).

SEC. 4.SECTION 1.

 Section 4002 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4002.
 “Board” means the State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention and Protection.

SEC. 5.SEC. 2.

 Article 4 (commencing with Section 4500) is added to Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  4. Prescribed Burns Burn Insurance Pool
4500.

On or before July 1, 2020, the board shall accomplish either or both of the following:

(a)Establish a certificate of specialization in the field of prescribed burning management and operations, pursuant to Section 762.

(b)Accept a public agency’s independent certification program for prescribed burning management or fire bosses as full qualification if the board determines the program fully protects the public interest in that area, pursuant to Section 772.

4501.

For any certificate of specialization established pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4500, the board shall consider all of the following:

(a)Federal systems of federal wildland fire qualifications.

(b)Best practices for developing a written prescription plan, including the ability to be designed to confine the fire to a predetermined area and to accomplish planned land management objectives.

(c)A requirement that at least one certified prescribed burn manager is present on site during the conduct of the prescribed burn and that the burn is conducted by members of a prescribed burning organization.

(d)Appropriate guidelines for the size of burning crews sufficient to do both of the following:

(1)Conduct the burn in accordance with the prescription plan.

(2)Provide adequate protection for the safety of persons and adjacent property.

(e)Standards for notification to adjacent landowners, the department, and local fire authorities.

(f)Other relevant best practices.

4503.4500.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2020, and until January 1, 2025, the department, in consultation with the Department of Insurance, shall develop and implement an insurance pool for prescribed burn managers with a certificate of specialization pursuant to Section 4500 or any other certification determined adequate by the department. managers with certification determined adequate by the department.
(b) The insurance pool shall be available only to prescribed burn managers certified pursuant to Section 4500. by the department and to landowners who have a contractual relationship with a certified prescribed burn manager.
(c) The goal of the insurance pool shall be to accomplish all of the following:
(1) Increase the use of prescribed fire.
(2) Reduce the cost of insurance for certified prescribed burn managers and landowners.
(3) Provide adequate liability protection for lives and property when conducting prescribed burns.
(d) The development and implementation of an insurance pool for prescribed burn managers mandated by this section shall only be required if sufficient funding is made available to the department for that purpose.
(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude the department from imposing minimum insurance requirement or other cost-share provision on a participating certified prescribed burn manager or landowner as a precondition for access to the insurance pool.

4504.4501.
 This article does not restrict a landowner’s ability to obtain a burn permit from the department, local air quality management and air pollution control districts, or the State Air Resources Board.