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AB-117 Air Quality Improvement Program: electric bicycles.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 07/16/2021 09:00 PM

Amended  IN  Senate  July 16, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 24, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 24, 2021


Assembly Bill
No. 117

Introduced by Assembly Member Boerner Horvath
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Friedman)

December 18, 2020

An act to amend Section 44274 of of, and to add Section 44274.8 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to vehicular air pollution.


AB 117, as amended, Boerner Horvath. Air Quality Improvement Program: electric bicycles.
Existing law establishes the Air Quality Improvement Program that is administered by the State Air Resources Board for the purposes of funding projects related to, among other things, the reduction of criteria air pollutants and improvement of air quality. Pursuant to its existing statutory authority, the state board has established the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, as a part of the Air Quality Improvement Program, to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles by providing rebates for the purchase of new zero-emission vehicles. Existing law specifies the types of projects eligible to receive funding under the program.
This bill would specify projects providing incentives for purchasing electric bicycles, as defined, as projects eligible for funding under the program. The bill would require the state board, no later than July 1, 2022, to establish an Electric Bicycle Incentives Project to provide incentives, in the form of vouchers, to income-qualified individuals for the purchase of electric bicycles, as provided.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


 Section 44274 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

 (a) The Air Quality Improvement Program is hereby created. The program shall be administered by the state board, in consultation with the districts. The state board shall develop guidelines to implement the program. Prior to the adoption of the guidelines, the state board shall hold at least one public hearing. In addition, the state board shall hold at least three public workshops with at least one workshop in northern California, one in the central valley, and one in southern California. The purpose of the program shall be to fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, air quality improvement projects relating to fuel and vehicle technologies. The primary purpose of the program shall be to fund projects to reduce criteria air pollutants, improve air quality, and provide funding for research to determine and improve the air quality impacts of alternative transportation fuels and vehicles, vessels, and equipment technologies.
(b) The state board shall provide preference in awarding funding to those projects with higher benefit-cost scores that maximize the purposes and goals of the Air Quality Improvement Program. The state board also may give additional preference based on the following criteria, as applicable, in awarding funding to projects:
(1) Proposed or potential reduction of criteria or toxic air pollutants.
(2) Contribution to regional air quality improvement.
(3) Ability to promote the use of clean alternative fuels and vehicle technologies as determined by the state board, in coordination with the commission.
(4) Ability to achieve climate change benefits in addition to criteria pollutant or air toxic emissions reductions.
(5) Ability to support market transformation of California’s vehicle or equipment fleet to utilize low-carbon or zero-emission technologies.
(6) Ability to leverage private capital investments.
(c) The program shall be limited to competitive grants, revolving loans, loan guarantees, loans, and other appropriate funding measures that further the purposes of the program. Projects to be funded shall include only the following:
(1) Onroad and off-road equipment projects that are cost effective.
(2) Projects that provide mitigation for off-road gasoline exhaust and evaporative emissions.
(3) Projects that provide research to determine the air quality impacts of alternative fuels and projects that study the life-cycle impacts of alternative fuels and conventional fuels, the emissions of biofuel and advanced reformulated gasoline blends, and air pollution improvements and control technologies for use with alternative fuels and vehicles.
(4) Projects that augment the University of California’s agricultural experiment station and cooperative extension programs for research to increase sustainable biofuels production and improve the collection of biomass feedstock.
(5) Incentives for small off-road equipment replacement to encourage consumers to replace internal combustion engine lawn and garden equipment.
(6) Incentives for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment mitigation, including all of the following:
(A) Lower emission schoolbus programs.
(B) Electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid onroad and off-road medium- and heavy-duty equipment.
(C) Regional air quality improvement and attainment programs implemented by the state or districts in the most impacted regions of the state.
(7) Workforce training initiatives related to advanced energy technology designed to reduce air pollution, including state-of-the-art equipment and goods, and new processes and systems. Workforce training initiatives funded shall be broad-based partnerships that leverage other public and private job training programs and resources. These partnerships may include, though are not limited to, employers, labor unions, labor-management partnerships, community organizations, workforce investment boards, postsecondary education providers including community colleges, and economic development agencies.
(8) Incentives to identify and reduce emissions from high-emitting light-duty vehicles.
(9) Incentives for purchasing electric bicycles, as defined in Section 312.5 of the Vehicle Code.
(d) (1) Beginning January 1, 2011, the state board shall submit to the Legislature a biennial report to evaluate the implementation of the Air Quality Improvement Program established pursuant to this chapter.
(2) The report shall include all of the following:
(A) A list of projects funded by the Air Quality Improvement Account.
(B) The expected benefits of the projects in promoting clean, alternative fuels and vehicle technologies.
(C) Improvement in air quality and public health, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and the progress made toward achieving these benefits.
(D) The impact of the projects in making progress toward attainment of state and federal air quality standards.
(E) Recommendations for future actions.
(3) The state board may include the information required to be reported pursuant to paragraph (1) in an existing report to the Legislature as the state board deems appropriate.

SEC. 2.

 Section 44274.8 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Electric bicycle” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 312.5 of the Vehicle Code and includes, but is not limited to, electric bicycles designed for people with disabilities, utility bicycles for carrying equipment or passengers, including children, and folding bicycles.
(2) “Project” means the Electric Bicycle Incentives Project established under subdivision (b).
(b) The state board shall, no later than July 1, 2022, establish the Electric Bicycle Incentives Project, in conjunction with the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, to provide incentives, in the form of vouchers, to income-eligible individuals for the purchase of electric bicycles at participating retailers.
(c) (1) The incentives provided under the project shall be based on a sliding scale, with the maximum incentive amount provided to an income-eligible individual with an income that is less than 80 percent of the average median income in the region in which that individual resides and the minimum incentive amount provided to an income-eligible individual with an income less than or equal to the maximum eligible income cap under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
(2) The state board shall establish the maximum and minimum amount of the incentive provided under the project to maximize the effectiveness of the project and the deployment of electric bicycle technology within appropriation deadlines. The state board shall consider setting the maximum amount of the incentive at six hundred dollars ($600) and the minimum amount of the incentive at one hundred dollars ($100).
(d) (1) Only one incentive shall be provided for each individual.
(2) The state board shall establish additional appropriate safeguards and protections to minimize fraud and abuse without rendering the project cost prohibitive or ineffective.
(e) The state board shall establish a preapproval process to income verify individuals who qualify for an incentive under the project.
(f) The state board may establish project guidelines for the quality of the electric bicycles that qualify for an incentive under the project.
(g) Up to 10 percent of the moneys appropriated for the project may be used to support related programs, such as safety, educational, and promotional programs.
(h) The state board shall encourage the participation of local small businesses, retailers, and nonprofit organizations that provide services to individuals who use electric bicycles, such as retail bicycle shops and nonprofit community bicycle shops, in the project.