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AB-380 Forestry: priority fuel reduction projects.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 02/02/21 - Introduced         Compare Versions information image


AB380:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 380


Introduced by Assembly Member Seyarto

February 02, 2021


An act to add Article 10 (commencing with Section 4760) to Chapter 10 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, relating to forestry.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 380, as introduced, Seyarto. Forestry: priority fuel reduction projects.
Existing law authorizes the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to provide grants to, or enter into contracts or other cooperative agreements with, specified entities for the implementation and administration of projects and programs to improve forest health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the authority provided pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act, the Governor, on March 22, 2019, issued a proclamation of a state of emergency directing the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to implement, without delay, fuel reduction projects identified using a methodology developed by the department to determine which communities are at greatest risk of wildfire based on best available science and socioeconomic factors and to identify projects that would reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, if completed. The proclamation of a state of emergency exempts those identified fuel reduction projects from various legal requirements, including, among others, requirements regarding public contracting for those projects, requirements for environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act for those projects, and licensure requirements for individual conducting certain activities for those projects, as provided.
This bill would require the department, before December 31, 2022, and before December 31 of each year thereafter, to identify priority fuel reduction projects, as provided. The bill would exempt the identified priority fuel reduction projects from certain legal requirements in a similar manner as provided in the proclamation of a state of emergency described above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 10 (commencing with Section 4760) is added to Chapter 10 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  10. Priority Fuel Reduction Projects

4760.
 For purposes of this article, “priority fuel reduction project” means a project identified by the department pursuant to Section 4760.5

4760.5.
 Before December 31, 2022, and before December 31 of each year thereafter, the department shall determine which communities are at greatest risk of wildfire based upon best available science and socioeconomic factors and shall identify fuel reduction projects that would reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in those communities.

4761.
 (a) (1) To ensure that the equipment and services necessary for the implementation of priority fuel reduction projects, including housing for fuels crews, can be procured quickly, the requirements set forth in the Government Code and the Public Contract Code applicable to state contracts, including, but not limited to, advertising and competitive bidding requirements, do not apply to contracting by the department for the implementation of priority fuel reduction projects.
(2) The Department of Finance shall review and approve contract costs before the execution of a contract entered into by the department for the implementation of priority fuel reduction projects.
(b) Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code does not apply to the development and adoption of regulations or guidelines necessary for the implementation of this article.
(c) (1) Subject to paragraph (3), state laws, rules, regulations, or other legal requirements under the jurisdiction of an agency or department within the California Environmental Protection Agency or the Natural Resources Agency do not apply to priority fuel reduction projects.
(2) Subject to paragraph (3), Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) does not apply to priority fuel reduction projects.
(3) This subdivision applies only if the department requests and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency or the secretary’s designee determines that the priority fuel reduction project meets the requirements of subdivision (a) and the priority fuel reduction project takes protection of the environment into account while ensuring timely implementation of the project.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding the requirements set forth in the Business and Professions Code, for purposes carrying out a priority fuel reduction project, both of the following apply:
(A) An individual who holds a timber operator license may perform tree removal that would otherwise require a tree service contractor’s license with the C-61 or D-49 classification.
(B) An individual who holds a tree service contractor’s license with the C-61 or D-49 classification may perform timber operations that would otherwise require a timber operator license.
(2) To perform services authorized under this subdivision, a tree service contractor shall do all of the following:
(A) Maintain the insurance coverage in the form and amount specified in subdivision (c) of Section 4572 before the conduct of timber operations.
(B) Maintain the insurance coverage throughout the conduct of timber operations.
(C) Comply with all operational provisions of Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4511) and rules applicable to the timber operations. The requirements of Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4511) and the applicable rules requiring licensure for the timber operations do not apply to an individual who holds a valid tree service contractor’s license.