Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


  ( Division 20 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )

CHAPTER 8. Ports [30700 - 30721]

  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )

ARTICLE 2. Policies [30702 - 30708]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )


For purposes of this division, the policies of the state with respect to providing for port-related developments consistent with coastal protection in the port areas to which this chapter applies, which require no commission permit after certification of a port master plan and which, except as provided in Section 30715, are not appealable to the commission after certification of a master plan, are set forth in this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1331.)


The California commercial fishing industry is important to the State of California; therefore, ports shall not eliminate or reduce existing commercial fishing harbor space, unless the demand for commercial fishing facilities no longer exists or adequate alternative space has been provided. Proposed recreational boating facilities within port areas shall, to the extent it is feasible to do so, be designed and located in such a fashion as not to interfere with the needs of the commercial fishing industry.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330.)


(a) Water areas may be diked, filled, or dredged when consistent with a certified port master plan only for the following:

(1) Construction, deepening, widening, lengthening, or maintenance of ship channel approaches, ship channels, turning basins, berthing areas, and facilities that are required for the safety and the accommodation of commerce and vessels to be served by port facilities.

(2) New or expanded facilities or waterfront land for port-related facilities.

(3) New or expanded commercial fishing facilities or recreational boating facilities.

(4) Incidental public service purposes, including, but not limited to, burying cables or pipes or inspection of piers and maintenance of existing intake and outfall lines.

(5) Mineral extraction, including sand for restoring beaches, except in biologically sensitive areas.

(6) Restoration purposes or creation of new habitat areas.

(7) Nature study, mariculture, or similar resource-dependent activities.

(8) Minor fill for improving shoreline appearance or public access to the water.

(b) The design and location of new or expanded facilities shall, to the extent practicable, take advantage of existing water depths, water circulation, siltation patterns, and means available to reduce controllable sedimentation so as to diminish the need for future dredging.

(c) Dredging shall be planned, scheduled, and carried out to minimize disruption to fish and bird breeding and migrations, marine habitats, and water circulation. Bottom sediments or sediment elutriate shall be analyzed for toxicants prior to dredging or mining, and where water quality standards are met, dredge spoils may be deposited in open coastal water sites designated to minimize potential adverse impacts on marine organisms, or in confined coastal waters designated as fill sites by the master plan where the spoil can be isolated and contained, or in fill basins on upland sites. Dredge material shall not be transported from coastal waters into estuarine or fresh water areas for disposal.

(d) For water areas to be diked, filled, or dredged, the commission shall balance and consider socioeconomic and environmental factors.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 310, Sec. 2. Effective July 6, 1984.)


In addition to the other provisions of this chapter, the policies contained in this section shall govern filling seaward of the mean high tide line within the jurisdiction of ports:

(a) The water area to be filled shall be the minimum necessary to achieve the purpose of the fill.

(b) The nature, location, and extent of any fill, including the disposal of dredge spoils within an area designated for fill, shall minimize harmful effects to coastal resources, such as water quality, fish or wildlife resources, recreational resources, or sand transport systems, and shall minimize reductions of the volume, surface area, or circulation of water.

(c)  The fill is constructed in accordance with sound safety standards which will afford reasonable protection to persons and property against the hazards of unstable geologic or soil conditions or of flood or storm waters.

(d) The fill is consistent with navigational safety.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330.)


New or expanded tanker terminals shall be designed and constructed to do all of the following:

(a) Minimize the total volume of oil spilled.

(b) Minimize the risk of collision from movement of other vessels.

(c) Have ready access to the most effective feasible oilspill containment and recovery equipment.

(d) Have onshore deballasting facilities to receive any fouled ballast water from tankers where operationally or legally required.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1331.)


All port-related developments shall be located, designed, and constructed so as to:

(a) Minimize substantial adverse environmental impacts.

(b) Minimize potential traffic conflicts between vessels.

(c) Give highest priority to the use of existing land space within harbors for port purposes, including, but not limited to, navigational facilities, shipping industries, and necessary support and access facilities.

(d) Provide for other beneficial uses consistent with the public trust, including, but not limited to, recreation and wildlife habitat uses, to the extent feasible.

(e) Encourage rail service to port areas and multicompany use of facilities.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC2.