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AB-1519 Forestry: fuels transportation program: biomass energy facility: grant program.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 03/11/21 - Amended Assembly Compare Versions information image


AB1519:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1519


Introduced by Assembly Member Members Gallagher and Patterson

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 31003 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to transportation. An act to add Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 4615) to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, relating to forestry.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1519, as amended, Gallagher. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Forestry: fuels transportation program: biomass energy facility: grant program.
The Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 prohibits a person from conducting timber operations, defined to mean the cutting or removal, or both, of timber or other solid wood forest products from timberlands for commercial purposes, unless a timber harvesting plan prepared by a registered professional forester has been submitted for the operations to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The act provides an exception from its provisions for timber operations that involve the removal of trees less than 16 inches in diameter at breast height from a firebreak or fuelbreak if the removal meets specified requirements, including the requirement that the removed trees will not be processed into logs or lumber.
The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 designates the State Air Resources Board as the state agency charged with 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 as part of a market-based compliance mechanism to be deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and to be available upon appropriation.
The Administrative Procedure Act generally governs the procedure for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations by state agencies and for the review of those regulatory actions by the Office of Administrative Law.
This bill would require the Natural Resources Agency to develop and implement a fuels transportation program that provides competitive grants or other financial incentives for projects in eligible communities to offset the costs of transporting fuels to a biomass energy facility, as specified. The bill would authorize the agency to allocate moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund consistent with the purposes of the fund. The bill would exempt these provisions from the Administrative Procedure Act.

Existing law creates the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as the single successor agency to the Southern California Rapid Transit District, which was abolished in 1993. Existing law vests the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority with specified powers and duties relative to transportation planning, programming, and operations in the County of Los Angeles. Existing law provides that, on the date of the merger of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority with the Southern California Rapid Transit District, which occurred in 1964, all employees of the transit authority became employees of the district with all of the same rights, privileges, and compensation they had as employees of the authority.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the latter provision.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 4615) is added to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  8.5. Fuels Transportation Program

4615.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Agency” means the Natural Resources Agency.
(2) “Disadvantaged community” means a community identified as a disadvantaged community pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) “Eligible community” means a community that meets all of the following criteria:
(A) Is a wildland-urban interface community in a state responsibility area or an area with an elevated fire risk.
(B) Is designated as a “firewise” community or has a community wildfire protection plan approved by the department.
(C) Partners with a community-based nonprofit organization that has among its primary objectives wildfire prevention, planning, or education.
(D) Satisfies any other reasonable criteria the agency deems appropriate.
(4) “Low-income community” means a community as defined in Section 39713 of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) “Wildfire risk” may include, but is not limited to, risk posed by either of the following:
(A) Insect pests or plant diseases injurious to timber.
(B) Forest growth.
(b) (1) The agency shall develop and implement a fuels transportation program that provides competitive grants or other financial incentives for projects in eligible communities to conduct fuels reduction efforts that minimize wildfire risk or decrease the intensity of a wildfire in or around a community.
(2) Moneys from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, created pursuant to Section 16428.8 of the Government Code, shall be available for allocation by the agency for the purposes of this subdivision and consistent with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Investment Plan and Communities Revitalization Act (Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 39710) of Part 2 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code).
(c) The fuels transportation program shall offer grants or other financial incentives to offset the costs of transporting fuels to a biomass energy facility. Based upon the distance of the materials from a biomass energy facility, the grants or financial assistance shall be tiered as follows:
(1) Up to twenty dollars ($20) per bone dry ton for communities that are located less than 20 miles away from a biomass energy facility.
(2) Up to twenty-five dollars ($25) per bone dry ton for communities that are located between 20 and 30 miles away from a biomass energy facility.
(3) Up to thirty dollars ($30) per bone dry ton for communities that are located more than 30 miles away from a biomass energy facility.
(d) (1) Fuels transportation program grants or financial incentives may be made to cities, counties, districts, or nonprofit organizations. The agency shall develop criteria for the review and approval of applications that shall include the establishment of cost-sharing requirements and appropriate oversight and reporting requirements.
(2) The agency may waive or reduce the cost-sharing requirements for projects that directly benefit or occur in a disadvantaged or low-income community. The cost-sharing requirement may be fulfilled in the form of cash, in-kind services or materials, or any combination of those, as determined by the agency.

4617.
 The Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of the Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) does not apply to any funding or financial assistance programmatic guidelines developed pursuant to this article.

SECTION 1.Section 31003 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
31003.

On the date of the merger, all employees of the authority shall become employees of the district with all of the same rights, privileges, and compensation they had as employees of the authority.