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Penal Code - PEN


  ( Part 4 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 1385. )


  ( Heading of Title 13 amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1000, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 4. Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project [14309- 14309.]
  ( Chapter 4 repealed and added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1000, Sec. 13. )


(a) The Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Grant Program is hereby established within the California Environmental Protection Agency.

(b) The Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Grant Program shall have the following purposes:

(1) Discourage the commission of violations of environmental laws by demonstrating the effective response of the criminal justice system to these violations, including, but not limited to, assisting district attorneys, particularly in rural counties, in the prosecution of criminal violations of environmental laws and regulations, where a district attorney has requested assistance.

(2) Establish model environmental crime prevention, enforcement, and prosecution techniques with statewide application for fair, uniform, and effective application.

(3) Increase the awareness and effectiveness of efforts to enforce environmental laws and to better integrate environmental prosecution into California’s established criminal justice system by providing on the job education and training to local peace officers and prosecutors and to local and state environmental regulators.

(4) Promote, through uniform and effective prosecution and local assistance, the effective enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.

(c) (1) The award of funds pursuant to this section may only be used to fund the costs of prosecutors, investigators, and research attorney staff, including salary, benefits, and expenses. The prosecutors, investigators, and research attorney staff may be either employees of a private nonprofit organization composed of local prosecutors, other than the California District Attorneys Association, or employees from local, state, or federal governmental agencies.

(2) The agency shall not award a grant to, or enter into a contract with, the California District Attorneys Association for the purpose of operating the Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Grant Program.

(d) (1) A district attorney may request funding from the Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Grant Program to fund a prosecutor, investigator, or research attorney who would be available in that county or another county for any of the following purposes:

(A) Assistance with the investigation and development of environmental cases.

(B) Consultation concerning whether an environmental case merits filing.

(C) Litigation support, including, but not limited to, the actual prosecution of the case. A district attorney shall, as appropriate, deputize a circuit prosecutor to prosecute cases within their jurisdiction.

(2) The authority of a deputized circuit prosecutor shall be consistent with and shall not exceed the authority of the elected district attorney or their deputies.

(3) Violations of city or county ordinances may be prosecuted by circuit prosecutors when there is an environmental nexus between the ordinance and a violation of state law, federal law, or both state and federal law.

(4) Participating district attorney offices shall provide matching funds or in-kind contributions equivalent to, but not less than, 20 percent of the expense of the deputized environmental circuit prosecutor.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 83, Sec. 9. (SB 157) Effective July 16, 2021.)

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