The Barbed Wire - April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021
Governor Newsom Issues Emergency Drought Order for Russian River Watershed, and Statewide Drought Response Framework
Bill of the Week: Bill of the Week: SB 55 (Stern)- Development Prohibition in Fire Zones
Board of Forestry Update
Hometown California Discusses Meeting the Challenge of California’s Perennial Wildfires
CSAC and RCRC Redistricting Webinar Series Now Available for Viewing
RCRC Comments on Small Utilities’ Wildfire Mitigation Plan Updates
LaMalfa Wildfire Legislation
CPUC Holds Public Forum on the Impacts PG&E’s Criminal Probation May Have on PSPS
Democrat Floats Paying for SALT Cap Repeal With More Tax Audits
Cannabis Banking Legislation Passes the House
BULLETIN BOARD
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ASSISTANCE
LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY UPDATE

Governor Newsom Issues Emergency Drought Order for Russian River Watershed, and Statewide Drought Response Framework

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom and senior administration officials met with Mendocino and Sonoma County officials, including RCRC Board Member Supervisor Glenn McGourty, Mendocino County, to announce a statewide response to worsening drought conditions. However, unlike Governor Brown’s statewide executive order in response to similar emerging drought conditions in 2014, Governor Newsom’s proclamation declares a drought emergency for Mendocino and Sonoma Counties only, suspending certain Public Resources Code authorities for purposes of allowing State Water Resources Control Board to take emergency action in response to drought conditions in the Russian River watershed. The Governor’s order follows a state of emergency declaration by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on the day prior.   
 
In addition to declaring a two-county emergency, the Governor’s proclamation directs state agencies to take several actions to manage worsening drought conditions elsewhere in the state. Under the order, state agencies are directed to partner with local water agencies to develop a public information and outreach campaign on water use conservation. Additionally, several state agencies—including State Water Resources Control Board, Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)—are directed to accelerate funding for water supply enhancement and water conservation in communities throughout the state. The order also directs DWR to work with well drillers, counties, groundwater sustainability agencies, and well owners to develop data to assist continued implementation of groundwater sustainability plans under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The State Water Board is also directed by the order to monitor local supply conditions across a variety of water systems.
 
While the Governor’s order proclaims an emergency for the Russian River watershed, it also directs state agencies to take certain actions in other state watersheds. Specifically, the order directs CDFA to “work with federal agencies to assist Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers contending with reduced water supplies.” The order additionally directs several agencies, including the state’s Delta agencies, to monitor and address potential salinity impacts to the Delta from lesser freshwater inflow. The order also directs State Water Board and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to work with federal agencies to manage temperature conditions for the preservation of fish in the Sacramento River downstream of Shasta Dam “while balancing water supply needs.”
 
The full text of the Governor’s Drought Proclamation can be viewed on the Governor’s website here.

Bill of the Week: Bill of the Week: SB 55 (Stern)- Development Prohibition in Fire Zones

Senate Bill 55, authored by Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), which would have prohibited all commercial and residential development in Very High Fire Hazards Severity Zones (VHFHSZ)  and State Responsibility Areas (SRA), is not being pursued this year. During presentation of the bill in Senate Governance and Finance Committee last week, Senator Stern confirmed that he did not intend to move the bill forward this legislative session.

RCRC voiced its opposition to SB 55, and the predecessor measure SB 474 from last year. Banning all housing production in VHFHSZ is an unnecessarily broad approach to development in high fire prone areas and will certainly have immediate dire consequences on rural communities. Policies for housing construction in the State’s VHFHSZ must balance the need for new homes while mitigating the risk of loss of life and property from wildfire.

RCRC’s letter can be accessed here. For more information, contact Tracy Rhine, RCRC Senior Legislative Advocate by email or call (916) 447-4806.

Board of Forestry Update

Friday, the Office of Administrative Law published the Board of Forestry (BOF) Fire Safe Regulations in its Regulatory Notice Registry, starting the 45-day comment period. The BOF will be holding a regulatory hearing on June 22, 2021 at 9:30 for public comment. Registration for the hearing can be found here. The full regulatory package can be accessed on the BOFs Proposed Rule Packages webpage. For more information, please contact Tracy Rhine, RCRC Senior Legislative Advocate, by email or call (916) 447-4806.

Hometown California Discusses Meeting the Challenge of California’s Perennial Wildfires

On the latest episode of Hometown California, our host, Paul A. Smith, speaks with Staci Heaton, RCRC’s Acting Vice President of Governmental Affairs, about California’s perennial wildfires. As an RCRC advocate for more than 15 years, Staci’s focus has primarily been wildfire response and forest management, along with climate change and related state and federal natural resources policy.

Together, Paul and Staci discuss factors contributing to the ferocity of the fires, and potential solutions to address this growing problem. RCRC has worked tirelessly on the issue of forest management and wildfire prevention for decades. This year, RCRC’s Board of Directors adopted a Wildfire Package, a multipronged collection of legislative advocacy strategies, to address the systemic needs forest management and wildfire prevention in the State. Listen in to hear why more state leaders seem to be taking notice, how short-term needs are being addressed, and what more remains to be done. Download the episode now.

CSAC and RCRC Redistricting Webinar Series Now Available for Viewing

This spring, CSAC and RCRC teamed up to bring you a 2021 Redistricting Webinar Series, breaking down all you need to know about redistricting for your county. Part 1 focused on the legal requirements, including the Voting Rights Act and changes as a result of AB 849 (2019), to provide a working knowledge of the technical aspects of redistricting. A thorough presentation by Chris Skinnell and Marguerite Leoni of Nielsen Merksamer and Douglas Johnson of the National Demographics Corporation provided counties with knowledge and insight to assist with the technicalities of redistricting. The final segment, What to Expect When You’re Redistricting, featured panelists Paul Mitchell of Redistricting Partners and Political Data Inc., David Twa, retired Chief Administrative Officer of Contra Costa County, and Supervisor Bruce Gibson of San Luis Obispo County. Participants received insights beneficial for developing an effective timeline, gathering public input, methods of line drawing, and so much more. View the recorded presentations and download the slides here.

RCRC Comments on Small Utilities’ Wildfire Mitigation Plan Updates

In early March, Small and Multi-Jurisdictional Utilities (SMJUs) and Independent Transmission Owners submitted 2021 updates to their Wildfire Mitigation Plans (WMPs) as required by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) Wildfire Safety Division for public review and formal approval. By law, all electrical utilities are required to construct, maintain and operate their lines and equipment to minimize the risk of a utility-caused wildfire and undertake comprehensive mitigation measures through WMPs, which must cover a three-year period. On April 20th, RCRC responded to the SMJU updates, specifically Liberty Utilities and PacifiCorp. Given the staffing constraints of SMJUs and, therefore, a reliance on third party contractors, these small utilities would benefit from additional regulatory guidance and best practices. Liberty Utilities, for example, needs more robust internal Quality Assurance and Quality Control measures to better manage and strategically implement wildfire safety protocols. More information on 2021 WMP Updates can be found here; RCRC’s letter can be viewed here.

LaMalfa Wildfire Legislation

Last week, Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) introduced the Restoring Environments, Soils, Trees, and Operations to develop the Rural Economy (RESTORE Act) (H.R. 2612), to provide new tools for the U.S. Forest Service to work with states on landscape-scale management projects to prioritize reduction of wildfire risk. Thus far, the legislation has only Republican co-sponsors and is currently awaiting consideration in the House Committee on Agriculture.

CPUC Holds Public Forum on the Impacts PG&E’s Criminal Probation May Have on PSPS

On Tuesday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held a workshop to discuss PG&E’s proposal to fulfill potential probation conditions related to the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion in light of CPUC’s competing directive that utilities use PSPS as a last resort and do so in a more targeted fashion. PG&E was convicted of six felonies in 2016 after the deadly explosion in San Bruno and is currently undergoing a sentence of five years of criminal probation with an appointed independent monitor. Citing deadly utility-caused wildfires and vegetation management failures during this probationary period, the U.S. District Court overseeing PG&E is considering imposing new probation conditions beginning July 1st that would drastically increase the scope and frequency of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) in order to minimize wildfire risk and save lives. For example, PG&E could be required to de-energize based on the number of trees or limbs that could fall on distribution lines—called the tree overstrike exposure—in Tier 2 and Tier 3 High Fire Threat Districts. It’s estimated this could double the frequency of PSPS events, especially in many rural northern counties, as well as significantly increase the overall duration of these outages.

RCRC notes that PG&E failed to disclose the additional proposed impacts that its federal probation terms could have on PSPS in its 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan update. PG&E has identified 5.3 million trees over 25,000 distribution miles that may be affected by the Court’s proposed decision. The inspections needed will be done through PG&E’s Enhanced Vegetation Management program, which has a current pace of 1,800 miles per year for assessment. For areas that have not been assessed through the Enhanced Vegetation Management program, electrical circuits with tree overstrike exposure that have not been inspected will factor into the criteria to de-energize distribution lines, leading to greater customer impacts. Last week, the CPUC triggered enhanced oversight and enforcement of PG&E given their history of severe vegetation management deficiencies. An audit revealed less than 5% of PG&E’s Enhanced Vegetation Management was done on the 20 highest-risk power lines. Not only did PG&E fail to self-report problems, PG&E also changed its approach to its risk ranking on multiple occasions when prompted by the Wildfire Safety Division on the inconsistencies of PG&E’s reported data.

The court is expected to make a determination in the coming weeks.

Democrat Floats Paying for SALT Cap Repeal With More Tax Audits

On Monday, Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) — one of the leading advocates for the repeal of the cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deductions — stated that the repeal of SALT deductions “could be offset by cracking down on tax cheats,” the first proposal from Democrats as a way to pay for the loss of tax revenue generated under the current cap.  Representative Gottheimer stated that increasing funding for the Internal Revenue Service to boost enforcement efforts could yield enough money to pay for reinstating the full SALT deduction as well as a portion of President Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure package.

Additionally, last week a group of California House Democrats sent a letter to President Biden urging him to undo the cap on SALT deductions in his infrastructure legislation. The letter from the California congressional delegation follows a separate letter sent from the New York House congressional delegation earlier last week.  However, while the New York lawmakers threatened to oppose the infrastructure bill entirely if it does not repeal the SALT deduction cap, the California Democrats stopped short of making a similar threat in their letter while advocating for the cap's removal.  Forty-one House Democrats from California — all but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) — signed onto the letter.

Cannabis Banking Legislation Passes the House

On Monday, the House passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1966) by a vote of 321-101.  The SAFE Banking Act would allow banks and financial institutions to legally work with cannabis businesses in states where marijuana is legalized.  It also confirms that proceeds from legitimate cannabis businesses will not be considered illegal and directs federal regulators to craft rules for how they would supervise such banking activity. The legislation now heads to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has said it will receive a vote and has himself expressed his support for the bill on numerous occasions. However, even if the bill is able to pass the extremely slim margins of the Senate, President Biden has not yet committed to signing it into law. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to say whether President Biden would sign or veto a bill the bill, noting that his cannabis policy position is at odds with broader criminal justice proposals that congressional Democratic leaders are working on. White House Press Secretary Psaki states, “The president supports leaving decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to the states, rescheduling cannabis as a Schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts and, at the federal level, he supports decriminalizing marijuana use and automatically expunging any prior criminal records.”

BULLETIN BOARD

Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.

 

Forest Stewardship Workshop

The University of California Cooperative Extension is offering training opportunities to help landowners develop sustainable plans to improve and protect their forest lands. Online workshops are being offered weekly from March 22, 2021 through May 27, 2021, with an in-person session scheduled in Humboldt County on Saturday, April 24, 2021. For more information, see here.

 

Free Training Webinar for How to Use the California Vegetation Treatment Program

The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection is offering a free training webinar about how to use the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP) Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to streamline California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance for vegetation treatment projects. 

The training course will cover the following topics: 

Part 1: Overview of the CalVTP Program EIR

  • Treatment types and activities
  • Treatable landscape
  • Eligible project proponents

Part 2: Preparing a CEQA Document Using the CalVTP Program EIR

  • CEQA Fundamentals – Program EIRs
  • Project-Specific Analysis
  • Project-Specific Analysis/Addendum
  • Decision Documentation and Approval Process
  • MMRP Implementation

Wrap Up: CalVTP Training Resources

 

Date: Thursday, May 13, 2021,
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT
Register here

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2021,
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT
Register here

Visit the How to Use the CalVTP webpage for training materials.

 

Mendocino County Seeks Human Resources Manager

Mendocino County is seeking a Human Resources Manager to assist in the administration of the County's centralized Human Resources Department; oversee daily activities related to a major unit of the department; and provide professional assistance to County management staff in complex personnel and related matters. The position closes on April 28, 2021. To apply, or for more information, see here.

 

California Air Resources Board Offers Webinars on Regulatory Compliance Training

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is offering a variety of training webinars for regulatory compliance on issues affecting public fleets such as Off-Road Regulations, Truck and Bus Rules, and Diesel Truck Rules. 

The CARB Diesel Truck Rules course will discuss compliance options and reporting requirements for 2021 and beyond for those that own, operate or dispatch heavy-duty diesel trucks in California. If your vehicles are not compliant, you need to know what the current and future requirements are. If your vehicles are compliant, you may need to report to remain compliant. 

Date:               April 29, 2021
Time:               1:00 p.m.
Webinar:         Register

The In-Use Off-Road Diesel-Fueled Fleets Regulation (Off-Road Regulation) requires fleet owners to report to CARB, label their off-road vehicles, and reduce emissions from older equipment.  This course provides detailed information to help fleet owners understand and comply with the Off-Road Regulation: 

Date:               May 13, 2021
Time:               1:00 p.m.
Webinar:         Register

 

 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ASSISTANCE

Resource pages, deadline extensions, and available programs to assist communities impacted by COVID-19.

 

Coronavirus Relief Available from the Small Business Administration

The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering several coronavirus relief options to help alleviate the financial hardships resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19). The programs have received an overwhelming number of applications from businesses, so be sure to check the SBA website for the latest updates on the status of these programs.

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. After initial funding was quickly depleted, the program received an infusion of an additional $310 billion, allowing the SBA to resume the program on April 27, 2020. Be sure to check the SBA website for the most recent information on the application process and availability of funds.
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance provides up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans can be used to bridge the gap for businesses while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan; small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt Relief provides a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in programs for other disasters, the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance portal is available here.

 

Economic Development Resources for Communities and Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus

The California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) has assembled resources for communities and business impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The page will be continually evolving as new resources become available. To go directly to the CALED resources, click here.

 

Use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for Infectious Disease Response

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds may be used for a range of eligible activities that prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Check out the Quick Guide to CDBG Eligible Activities to Support Infectious Disease Response for guidance and additional information.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) County Resource Page Available

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), RCRC’s local government partner, continues to provide excellent up-to-date state and federal information to counties on this ever-changing pandemic event.  We encourage visiting CSAC’s COVID-19 resource page, which contains vital links to all CSAC COVID-19 advocacy letters and resources.  CSAC’s staff continues to work around the clock to update activities so that all of California’s counties can remain properly informed.

LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY UPDATE

Information related to the current status of legislation and regulations impacting California’s rural counties.

Assembly Bill 1 (C. Garcia): Hazardous Waste: Assembly Bill 1 establishes several new governance, policy, and fiscal reforms to improve the Department of Toxic Substances Control, including significantly increasing several fees and repealing several important fee exemptions. Status: AB 1 awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Concerns

Assembly Bill 297 (Gallagher) Fire Prevention. Increases funding for forest health improvement and wildfire risk reduction projects and makes other substantive changes to help expedite project completion.  Status: AB 297 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 322 (Salas): Energy: Electric Program Investment Charge program: Requires the Energy Commission to consider bioenergy projects for biomass conversion when awarding funds under the Electric Program Investment Charge program. Status: AB 322 is awaiting consideration in the Natural Resources Committee.  RCRC Status: Support    

 Assembly Bill 332 (ESTM): Hazardous waste: treated wood waste: Reestablishes a statutory pathway for the alternative management and disposal of treated wood waste in a landfill.  Status:  AB 332 is awaiting consideration on the Assembly Floor.  RCRC Status:  Support.

Assembly Bill 648 (Fong) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Healthy Forest and Fire Prevention: Appropriation. Continuously appropriates $200 million annually for forest health improvement and wildfire risk reduction projects Status: AB 648 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 819 (Levine) Requires lead agencies to post California Environmental Quality Act notices and documents on their internet websites and to submit CEQA documents to the State Clearinghouse in electronic form.  Status: AB 819 awaits consideration in the Senate. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 843 (Aguiar-Curry): California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program: renewable feed-in tariff: Allows Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) to access the CPUC BioMAT program that provides funding for renewable bioenergy electricity projects, including biomass and biogas. Status: AB 843 awaits consideration from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 881 (Gonzalez) Plastic waste: diversion: recycling: export. Repeals the ability for local governments to claim diversion credit for mixed plastic waste that is exported for recycling. Status: AB 881 awaits consideration from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 987 (Low) Public utilities: civil penalties: unplanned electrical outages and deenergization events. AB 987 makes a number of significant changes to the conduct of utility public safety power shutoff events.  Status: AB 987 awaits consideration from the Assembly Utilities Committee. RCRC Status: Pending

Assembly Bill 1078 (Patterson) Energy: building standards: photovoltaic requirements. Exempts residential buildings damaged or destroyed in a disaster during the 2020 calendar year from having to install solar energy systems under the California Energy Commission’s recently adopted building requirements.  Status: AB 1078 awaits consideration from the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1086 (Aguiar-Curry) Organic waste: implementation strategy. Requires the state to prepare an implementation strategy to achieve the state’s organic waste, climate change, and air quality mandates, goals, and targets.  Status: AB 1086 awaits consideration from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Pending.

Assembly Bill 1154 (Patterson) California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: egress route projects: fire safety. Exempts from the California Environmental Quality Act egress route projects undertaken by a public agency and that are recommended by the Board of Forestry to improve fire safety of an existing subdivision.  Status: AB 1154 awaits consideration from the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1276 (Carrillo) Single-use food accessories and service ware. Prohibits food facilities and platforms from providing single-use food accessories to consumers unless requested or necessary to protect public health and safety or safe delivery.  Status: AB 1276 awaits consideration from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 1311 (Wood) Recycling: beverage containers: certified recycling centers. Makes modest changes to the Beverage Container Recycling Act to increase consumer access to redemption opportunities. Status: AB 1311 awaits consideration from the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1344 (Arambula) State Department of Public Health: Needle and Syringe Exchange Services.  Exempts needle and syringe exchanges services from the California Environmental Quality Act.  Status: AB 1344 awaits consideration in the Assembly Health and Natural Resources Committees. RCRC Status: Neutral 

Assembly Bill 1350 (Patterson) Department of Toxic Substances Control: environmental fee: exemption. Until 1/1/2025, exempts businesses with 50-100 employees from having to pay the Environmental Fee, which funds oversight of hazardous waste management and disposal and to remediate orphan and legacy contaminated properties. Status: AB 1350 awaits consideration from the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 1403 (Levine) Emergency Services. Assembly Bill 1403 clarifies that deenergization events (also known as PSPS events) qualify as events for which a state of emergency or local emergency can be declared under the California Emergency Services Act. Status: AB 1403 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1454 (Bloom) Beverage Container and Litter Reduction Act.  Assembly Bill 1454 makes several changes to the Beverage Container Recycling Program, including creation of a new $25,000 startup loan for the creation of new recycling centers in unserved or underserved areas.  Status: AB 1454 Awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Status: Support if Amended

Assembly Bill 1547 (Reyes) Air pollution: warehouse facilities. AB 1547 allows the Air Resources Board to regulate indirect sources of air pollution and requires local governments to undertake many other actions to identify and address the potential environmental impacts of warehouse development projects.   Status: AB 1547 awaits consideration from the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose.

Senate Bill 30 (Cortese): Building Decarbonization: Prohibits state agencies from designing or constructing a state facility that is connected to the natural gas grid and prohibits state agencies from funding projects for the construction of residential and nonresidential buildings that are connected to the natural gas grid. Status: Senate Bill 30 awaits consideration by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose Unless Amended

Senate Bill 38 (Wieckowski): Beverage Containers: Replaces the existing Beverage Container Recycling Program (Bottle Bill) with a new recycling program administered by beverage container manufacturers and increases the CRV from $0.05 to $0.10 per container if the state fails to achieve specified recycling rates.  Repeals the $10.5 million annually set aside for payments to cities and counties to address recycling and litter. Status: SB 38 awaits consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose Unless Amended

Senate Bill 42 (Wieckowski): Department of Toxic Substances Control:  Establishes a new Board of Environmental safety to oversee the Department of Toxic Substances Control, consider permit appeals, and propose regulatory changes and establishes an ombudsperson to make and receive public complaints and suggestions.  SB 42 is anticipated to be amended to also include many of the fiscal changes suggested by the Administration to address DTSC’s structural deficit. Status: SB 42 awaits consideration by the Senate Environmental Quality committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Senate Bill 52 (Dodd): State of Emergency: Power Outages. Senate Bill 52 clarifies that deenergization events (also known as PSPS events) qualify as events for which a local emergency can be declared under the California Emergency Services Act. Status: SB 52 awaits consideration on the Senate Floor (Third Reading). RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 54 (Allen) Plastic Pollution Producer Responsibility Act.  SB 54 requires manufactures of single-use, disposable packaging and food service ware to ensure that those products sold, distributed, or imported into the state are either recyclable or compostable.  Status: SB 54 awaits consideration from the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Support in Concept

Senate Bill 99 (Dodd): Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021. Senate Bill 99 requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans. Status: SB 99 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 207 (Dahle): Photovoltaic Recycling Advisory Group: Senate Bill 207 seeks to spur the recycling and reuse of solar photovoltaic panels by requiring an advisory group to make recommendations to ensure that, to the extent possible, all solar photovoltaic panels in the state are reused or recycled at the end of their lives in a safe and cost-effective manner. Status: SB 207 awaits consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 244 (Archuleta): Lithium-ion batteries: illegal disposal: fire prevention: Senate Bill 244 seeks to prevent lithium-ion battery fires by requiring the state to develop training and best practices for the detection, safe handling, and suppression of fires that originate from discarded lithium-ion batteries in solid waste collection vehicles, transfer and processing stations, and disposal facilities.  Status: SB 244 awaits consideration from the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 261 (Allen) Regional Transportation Plans:  Sustainable Communities Strategies.  Requires the Air Resources Board (ARB) to adopt new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction targets for incorporation into the sustainable communities’ strategies prepared by the state’s 18 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).  Status: SB 261 awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose

Senate Bill 289 (Newman) Recycling: batteries and battery-embedded products.: Requires producers of battery and battery-embedded products to create stewardship organizations and programs for the collection, transportation, and recycling of those products. Status: SB 289 awaits consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee.    RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 341 (McGuire) Makes several changes to increase oversight and accountability of telecommunications service outages. Status: SB 341 awaits consideration from the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support  

Senate Bill 343 (Allen) Prohibits the sale of any product or packaging using a deceptive or misleading claim about its recyclability, including using the chasing arrows symbol unless CalRecycle determines the product or packaging is recyclable.  Requires CalRecycle to identify the types of plastic products and packaging from which a claim of recyclability may be made. Status: SB 343 awaits consideration from the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

 Senate Bill 619 (Laird) Organic waste: reduction regulations. Will seek to provide local governments with additional flexibility to achieve the state’s organic waste recycling requirements.  Status: SB 619 awaits consideration from the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Support