Code Section Group

Fish and Game Code - FGC

DIVISION 6. FISH [5500 - 9101]

  ( Division 6 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

PART 1. GENERALLY [5500 - 6930]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

CHAPTER 5.5. California Marine Resources Legacy Act [6600 - 6621]

  ( Chapter 5.5 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [6600 - 6605]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. )

6600.
  

This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Marine Resources Legacy Act.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 2503) Effective January 1, 2011.)

6601.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) California’s extraordinary marine biological diversity is a vital asset to the state and nation. The diversity of species and ecosystems found in the ocean waters off the state is important to public health and well-being, ecological health, and ocean-dependent economic activities.

(b) Although the state maintains various programs to protect, restore, and enhance California’s marine resources, the effect of these programs is limited by inadequate and unstable funding.

(c) There is an existing permitting process for decommissioning and fully removing offshore oil platforms or production facilities. Owners and operators are currently responsible for the full cost of decommissioning and remediating those facilities.

(d) According to the United States Department of the Interior, the 23 oil and gas platforms in federal waters off the California coast are expected to reach the end of their useful production lifetimes and be decommissioned between 2015 and 2030.

(e) The California Ocean Science Trust in its June 2010 study, titled “Evaluating Alternatives for Decommissioning California’s Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms: A Technical Analysis to Inform State Policy,” analyzed a number of decommissioning alternatives to full rig removal and determined that the most likely alternative is to remove the upper portion of the rig and leave the remainder of the structure in place.

(f) The California Ocean Science Trust report and other studies indicate that the partial removal option can result in a net benefit to the marine environment and substantial cost savings compared to full removal of an oil platform or production facility.

(g) Provided that partial removal of an oil rig would result in a net benefit to the marine environment compared to full removal, it is in the interest of the state that a portion of the cost savings that result from partial removal should be shared with the citizens of this state to protect and enhance the state’s marine resources.

(h) It is also in the interest of the state that any program to allow partial removal of oil platforms meet all of the following criteria:

(1) Partial removal shall result in a net benefit to the marine environment compared to full removal.

(2) The determination of whether partial removal would result in a net benefit to the marine environment should be made only after scientific study and evaluation.

(3) Because the location and depth of an oil platform, as well as other ecological factors, create a unique environment, each oil platform shall be subject to scientific study and evaluation before partial removal is allowed.

(4) The costs of the scientific study and evaluation should be borne by the applicant.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 2503) Effective January 1, 2011.)

6602.
  

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Applicant” means the owner or operator of an offshore oil structure in state or federal waters or another party responsible for decommissioning an offshore oil structure in state or federal waters who applies pursuant to this chapter to carry out partial removal of the structure.

(b) “Commission” means the State Lands Commission.

(c) “Conservancy” means the State Coastal Conservancy.

(d) “Cost savings” means the difference between the estimated cost to the applicant of complete removal of an oil platform as required by state and federal leases and the estimated costs to the applicant of partial removal of the oil platform pursuant to this chapter.

(e) “Council” means the Ocean Protection Council.

(f) “Endowment” means the California Endowment for Marine Preservation established in Division 37 (commencing with Section 71500) of the Public Resources Code.

(g) “Exclusive economic zone (EEZ)” means the zone as measured from the mean high tide line seaward to 200 nautical miles, as set forth in Presidential Proclamation 5030 of March 10, 1983, in which the United States proclaimed jurisdiction over the resources of the ocean within 200 miles of the coastline.

(h) “National Fishing Enhancement Act of 1984” means Title II of Public Law 98-623.

(i) “Offshore oil structure” means platforms, piers, and artificial islands located seaward of mean lower low water, used for oil and gas exploration, development, production, processing, or storage.

(j) “Oil” means any kind of petroleum, liquid hydrocarbons, natural gas, or petroleum products or any fraction or residues therefrom.

(k) “Open coastal marine resources” means those marine resources that use open coastal waters as their habitat.

(l) “Open coastal waters” means the area composed of the submerged lands of the state that are below the mean lower low water, extending seaward to the boundaries of the exclusive economic zone.

(m) “Partial removal” means an alternative to full removal of an offshore oil structure, in compliance with all requirements of this chapter.

(n) “State waters” means waters within the seaward boundary of the state as identified in Section 2 of Article III of the California Constitution.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 2503) Effective January 1, 2011.)

6603.
  

(a) This chapter establishes a program through which an applicant may voluntarily apply to the department to carry out partial removal of the structure.

(b) The program established pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed consistent with, and part of, the California Artificial Reef Program pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 6420) of Chapter 5 for purposes of compliance with federal law including the National Fishing Enhancement Act of 1984.

(c) Except as specified in Section 6604, the department shall serve as the primary authority for carrying out the program, including review and approval of applications to partially remove an offshore oil structure in state or federal waters and management and operation of decommissioned offshore oil structures in state or federal waters approved pursuant to this chapter.

(d) Final approval of an application shall not be granted until the applicant complies with all requirements of the chapter, including the payment of all costs to the state to review and approve the proposed project as required by subdivision (b) of Section 6612 and the transmittal of the required portion of cost savings to the endowment and other parties as required by Section 6618.

(e) The department may obtain funds for the planning, development, maintenance, and operation of an offshore oil structure transferred to the department pursuant to this chapter and may accept gifts, subventions, grants, rebates, reimbursements, and subsidies from any lawful source.

(f) The department may adopt regulations to implement this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 2503) Effective January 1, 2011.)

6604.
  

(a) A proposed project to partially remove an offshore oil structure pursuant to this chapter is a project as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 21065 of the Public Resources Code and is therefore subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) and shall be reviewed pursuant to the time limits established in Section 21100.2 of the Public Resources Code.

(b) The Natural Resources Agency shall serve as the lead agency for the environmental review of any project proposed pursuant to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 2503) Effective January 1, 2011.)

6605.
  

(a) Nothing in this chapter is intended, and it shall not be construed, to limit or affect the authority or duties of any state or local agency, including, but not limited to, the commission, the council, and the California Coastal Commission.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to do any of the following:

(1) Relieve the applicant or prior owner or operator of an offshore oil structure from any continuing liability under any of the following, if the liability is associated with seepage or release of oil from an offshore oil structure that was decommissioned pursuant to an order of, or any action taken by, and in accordance with, any applicable rule or regulation of, any federal or state agency:

(A) Any state statute or regulation regarding liability for the spilling of oil.

(B) The federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 2701 et seq.).

(C) Any other provision of law.

(2) Establish any new liability on the part of the state.

(3) Require any agency with jurisdiction to approve the partial removal of an offshore oil structure.

(4) Promote, encourage, or facilitate offshore oil exploration, development, and production within California’s open coastal waters.

(5) Require the United States Department of the Interior or the commission to modify, amend, or alter an existing oil and gas lease to approve partial removal of an offshore oil structure.

(6) Alter any existing law or applicable rule or regulation of any federal or state agency that establishes liability for damages arising with respect to artificial reefs or reef materials, including, but not limited to, components of decommissioned oil structures.

(7) Alter any existing law or policy that protects natural reefs.

(8) Approve any particular method of abandonment.

(c) Any partial removal of an offshore oil structure pursuant to this chapter shall not be used or counted as mitigation for any environmental impacts or natural resource damages.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 2503) Effective January 1, 2011.)

FGCFish and Game Code - FGC1.