The Barbed Wire - September 10, 2021

September 10, 2021
RCRC Continues Discussions with Board of Forestry
Bill of the Week: SB 552 (Hertzberg) – County Drought Task Forces
Meet RCRC’s 2021 Annual Meeting Technology Sponsor AT&T
RCRC Submits Comments to the CPUC on Broadband
Legislature Passes Guaranteed $1 Billion in Additional Wildfire Prevention Funds, Millions in Forest Resilience Dollars
Budget Bills Provide Nearly $170 Million for Organic Waste Recycling, Including $60 Million for Local SB 1383 Implementation Grants
2021 Legislative Session Concludes Upon Adjournment
State and Local Tax Deduction Update
Infrastructure/Reconciliation Update
Californian Senators Applaud Biden for Wildfire Disaster Declaration in El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, and Placer Counties
Register Today for RCRC Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 1

RCRC Continues Discussions with Board of Forestry

The Board of Forestry (BOF) will be holding its next regularly scheduled board meeting on September 21 and 22, 2021. Although the meeting agenda has not yet been released, BOF staff has notified RCRC that it does not intend to bring the Fire Safe Regulations proposal up for discussion at the next scheduled board meeting.

Additionally, last month during discussions with RCRC staff on the proposed rulemaking, BOF staff stated that they intended to release a revised draft of the Fire Safe Regulations at the end of September, commencing a second 45-day public comment period. 

During the last public comment period that ended in June RCRC submitted two comprehensive comment letters outlining the adverse effects the proposal on member counties. The current regulatory package can be accessed on the BOFs Proposed Rule Packages webpage. Please contact Tracy Rhine for further information.

Bill of the Week: SB 552 (Hertzberg) – County Drought Task Forces

RCRC and CSAC have jointly removed opposition to Senate Bill 552, authored by Senator Bob Hertzberg (D -Van Nuys), which, among other provisions, would have required a county to update its well permit application to include a checkbox or another input method to determine if the reason for the well permit application is due to a dry well, or due to a well that is actively failing or at risk of failing due to drought and water shortage, and report to the department and any groundwater sustainability agencies within its jurisdiction a summary of information on well permits, including the number and locations of both dry wells and wells that are actively failing or at risk of failing due to drought and water shortage.
The provisions containing these well permit reporting were amended into the bill in mid-June, prompting strong opposition by both RCRC and CSAC. However, due to RCRC and CSAC advocacy, these provisions were removed on August 26th, returning the bill to its original subject matter of implementation of recommendations based on DWR’s County Drought Advisory Group report.
RCRC would like to remind member counties that the bill still retains provisions requiring counties to establish a standing county drought task force starting Jan. 2022, per the bill’s specifications, and to develop a county drought response plan—again, as specified. However, the bill provides exceptions to the standing task force requirement for cases where a county: (1) has already established a drought task force by the time of the bill’s enactment in Jan. 2022, or (2) the county establishes an alternative process for “facilitating drought and water shortage preparedness for state small systems and domestic wells” in that county’s jurisdiction. Please refer to the bill text (linked here) for further detail on both the county task force and drought response plan requirements.
SB 552 was approved by the Legislature on Thursday, and headed to the Governor for his consideration. For more information, contact Sidd Nag, RCRC Legislative Advocate, by email or call (916) 447-4806.

Meet RCRC’s 2021 Annual Meeting Technology Sponsor AT&T

AT&T works with the public sector to enhance the business of government by bringing together solutions that help protect, serve and connect. AT&T is helping government customers across federal, state, local and international markets modernize the way they operate, and helping to advance K-12 and higher education institutions. To help make communities safer, AT&T works with the FirstNet Authority to build and manage FirstNet, the nationwide high-speed wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety when and where they need it most. It allows first responders, emergency personnel and other essential workers to communicate during an emergency situation. Watch this brief video to learn more, and be sure to connect with AT&T at RCRC’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Monterey County.

RCRC Submits Comments to the CPUC on Broadband

Last week RCRC submitted formal comment to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on its proceeding implementing the broadband middle-mile provisions of Senate Bill 156 (Chapter 112, Statutes of 2021). RCRC is a party to the proceeding, the Order Instituting Rulemaking Regarding Broadband Infrastructure Deployment (R 20-09-001), and has filed comments on multiple phases of the proceeding.

Thursday, the Administrative Law Judge for the proceeding directed parties to submit further comments as part of the CPUC’s efforts to collect data on locations for the state-owned, open access middle mile. Comments are due by October 1, 2021. All members of the public can submit comments to  the CPUC without becoming a formal party by using this link. All related proceeding documents can be found here.

SB 156 was signed into law on July 20, 2021, and made significant investments in broadband deployment, including, $3.25 billion in a state-owned, open-access middle-mile infrastructure. The new law directs the CPUC to solicit and receive comment on the locations for the middle mile infrastructure within 90 days on the enactment of the bill. To assist the CPUC in collecting relevant information on existing and needed broadband infrastructure in member counties, RCRC staff is coordinating individual county discussions with the CPUC staff. If your county is interested in meeting with the CPUC on middle-mile infrastructure, please contact RCRC Senior Legislative Advocate, Tracy Rhine.

Legislature Passes Guaranteed $1 Billion in Additional Wildfire Prevention Funds, Millions in Forest Resilience Dollars

As the California Legislature wound down its 2021 session, lawmakers passed an unprecedented continuous allocation to wildfire prevention and forest health programs. The allocation, found in Senate Bill 155, not only adds an additional $1 billion to forest health programs, but also secures funding previously promised, but not continuously appropriated, in 2018’s Senate Bill 901 (Dodd) through 2023-24. The bill continuously appropriates $200 million annually from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which accrues revenues from the state’s Cap-and-Trade Auction program, through the 2028-29 fiscal year. SB 155 also requires the California Natural Resources Agency to report annually to the Legislature on the use of the funds, including the amount of funding spent on programs and the projects implemented by each program.

RCRC, along with several members of the Legislature and other key stakeholders, has been seeking such an appropriation since SB 901’s passage to secure continuous funding for wildfire mitigation and forest resilience programs. If signed by the Governor, the funding will be dedicated each year without a need for allocation through the annual State Budget package.  

Senate Bill 170, known as Budget Bill Jr., also contained substantial funding for a number of forest health and wildfire prevention programs, including:

  • $155.3 million to CAL FIRE from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for the Fire Prevention Grants Program, which provides funding for local community fire prevention projects;
  • $100 million to CAL FIRE for near-term fire resilience activities;
  • $67 million to CAL FIRE for longer term forest health programs, including assistance to non-industrial landowners and funding for the CAL FIRE nursery program to promote reforestation;
  • $40 million for CAL FIRE’s Fire Prevention Grants program;
  • $50 million to CAL FIRE for urban greening and urban forestry projects;
  • $15 million for the California Conservation Corps Forestry Corps program;
  • $67.8 million to CAL FIRE for near-term local post-fire recovery and restoration activities, along with forest workforce training and development;
  • $19 million  to CAL FIRE for tribal forest health grants;
  • $20 million to CAL FIRE for a prescribed fire liability pilot program; and
  • $61.1 million to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for local assistance grants, which include wildfire prevention, climate resilience, and natural resource protection projects.

The SB 170 funding is additional to the funds approved earlier this year, and brings the total State Budget expenditures on wildfire and forest health to more than $1.5 billion this year. 

Budget Bills Provide Nearly $170 Million for Organic Waste Recycling, Including $60 Million for Local SB 1383 Implementation Grants

This week, the Legislature passed additional budget bills that, among many other things, provide $168 million for organics waste recycling as part of a total allocation of a $205 million solid waste recycling package.  Senate Bill 170 (a budget bill) and Senate Bill 155 (a budget trailer bill) were both passed by the Legislature and are expected to be signed by the Governor in the coming days.

The package includes $70 million for organic waste recycling infrastructure, including composting, in-vessel digestion, and preprocessing activities.  Another $60 million is allocated to CalRecycle to award as grants to local governments for SB 1383 organic waste regulation implementation.  This pot is expected to be particularly appealing to local governments as they begin implementing their new organic waste recycling programs.

The organic waste recycling package also includes $5 million for community composting, $3 million for edible food recovery and food waste prevention, and $10 million for organic waste co-digestion projects at existing wastewater treatment plants.

Other solid waste funding in the budget includes $25 million for recycling market development, which is accompanied by many other programmatic changes to help finance recycling infrastructure and markets.  $10 million is devoted to improving the quality of PET plastic beverage containers collected in curbside collection programs.

RCRC worked with CSAC, the League of California Cities, and Californians Against Waste to request $200 million in the budget to assist local governments implement new SB 1383 organic waste recycling regulations.  That letter can be found here.  RCRC also joined a large stakeholder coalition requesting an additional $200 million for organic waste recycling infrastructure.  That coalition letter can be found here.

We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Senators Nancy Skinner and John Laird and Assembly Members Phil Ting and Richard Bloom to secure this funding.  Please contact John Kennedy, RCRC Legislative Advocate, for more information.

2021 Legislative Session Concludes Upon Adjournment

Upon adjournment, the 2021 Legislative Session will conclude on Friday, September 10th.  Since reconvening on August 16th for the final four weeks, the Legislature heard and took final action on hundreds of bills, including an assortment of budget trailer bills that assist in the implementation of the 2021-22 State Budget Package.  The Governor has until October 10, 2021 to address and consider bills that have reached his desk.  Outside of urgency clause bills that go into effect immediately upon their enactment, bills enacted will take effect January 1, 2022.

RCRC staff will continue to monitor outstanding bills during the final hours of session.  The RCRC Board of Directors will receive an update on the status of key bills of interest to California’s rural counties during the October 1st RCRC Board of Directors meeting in Monterey County.  The Legislature will reconvene on January 3, 2022 to kick-off the 2022 Legislative Session. 

For more information regarding state legislative activities, please contact the RCRC Governmental Affairs staff at (916) 447-4806.

State and Local Tax Deduction Update

On Tuesday, Representative Thomas Suozzi (D-New York) followed up on prior warnings that he and a group of blue state Democrats would not support any reconciliation package that fails to restore the full deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) eliminated by the 2017 GOP tax bill.  Representative Suozzi, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee stated in an interview, “no SALT, no deal…I’m pushing for full repeal.”  The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Richie Neal (D-Massachusetts), is a supporter of restoring the SALT deduction and the provision is expected to be included in the Committee’s markup next week.  Despite also having support from Democrat leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), progressive Democrats have balked at repealing the current SALT limit because most of the benefit would go to taxpayers earning $100,000 or more annually. 

Infrastructure/Reconciliation Update

All eyes will be on Congress this week as lawmakers return from August Recess and committees work to finalize their portions of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal late last week, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) called for a “strategic pause” in action on President Biden’s economic agenda, calling for a “significantly” smaller reconciliation bill. While Senator Manchin’s vote will be critical to advancing the package through the upper chamber, this op-ed does not significantly change the state of play. This is because since the beginning, it has been understood that the $3.5 trillion price tag is merely a ceiling and that the package would eventually have to be whittled down to get it across the finish line. However, it will take some time to iron out these issues and negotiations will likely have to continue into October.
Additionally, on Tuesday, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent Congress an “urgent” spending request for the approval of a "short-term" extension in government funding to avoid a partial shutdown on October 1st. Government funding is set to lapse at the end of September under current law, which means that lawmakers would need to authorize a temporary continuing resolution (CR) to extend funding at their current levels for a set period of time. Acting OMB Director Shalanda Young stated in the letter that, “we are also calling on Congress to include additional funding in a CR to help address two other urgent needs: responding to recent and ongoing natural disasters, and meeting our commitments to our Afghan allies and partners.”

Californian Senators Applaud Biden for Wildfire Disaster Declaration in El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, and Placer Counties

Last week, Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein thanked the Biden Administration for approving a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance in response to the Caldor Fire in El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, and Placer Counties.  The President’s action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts as well as supplement state, local, and tribal government emergency services for the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety.

Register Today for RCRC Annual Meeting, September 29 - October 1

Register today for RCRC’s 2021 Annual Meeting, September 29 – October 1, 2021, at the Portola Hotel and Spa at Monterey Bay in Monterey County! This year's program will feature experts discussing a wide range of topics from politics to space exploration, with a keynote address by former U.S. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta.  View additional program details here.


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


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 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:        October 14, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register

Date:        December 9, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register

The Compliance Overview: Truck & Bus Rule, Off-Road Regulation, and Portable Equipment course include the following topics:

Truck and Bus Regulation:

  • Regulation Applicability
  • Engine Model Year Schedule
  • Exemptions & Extensions
  • How to Report for Regulation Flexibilities
  • Broker and Dispatcher Requirements
  • DMV Registration

Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP):

  • Regulation Applicability
  • Program Updates

Advanced Clean Truck (ACT)

  • Manufacturers ZEV Sales Requirements
  • One-Time Reporting
  • Future ZEV Rules

In-Use Off-Road Diesel Vehicle Regulation:

  • Regulation Applicability
  • Requirements Currently in Effect
  • Future Compliance Deadlines

Portable Equipment Registration Program (PERP) & Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM):

  • PERP Eligibility
  • Program Requirements
  • ATCM Program & Updates
  • Enforcement & Inspections

Date:        September 14, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register

Date:        December 16, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register

CARB is also offering a new course to provide an overview of several new programs and they associated regulations that will help the state reach carbon neutrality:

Date:        September 28, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register

Date:        October 12, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register

Date:        October 26, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register

Date:        November 11, 2021
Time:        1:00 p.m.
Webinar:   Register


California Climate and Energy Collaborative to Host Virtual Policymakers Session - Rebounding Resiliency

The California Climate & Energy Collaborative (CCEC) is hosting an exclusive virtual session for California policymakers and elected officials on key energy and climate priorities as a part of the 12th Annual CCEC Forum, on Thursday, September 30th, from 1:00 to 2:30 P.M. Policymakers across California face difficult decisions about how to best rebound from the hardships of 2020 and 2021 in ways that support their broader energy, climate, and equity goals. This session will provide elected officials the opportunity to hear relevant policy updates from featured experts who will also facilitate deeper discussions through subsequent breakout sessions. Breakout sessions are designed to allow attendees to ask questions directly to featured experts and forge connections with other jurisdictions by exchanging knowledge and best practices with fellow local policymakers.

Featured speakers and breakout room facilitators include:

  • Erik de Kok, Deputy Director at California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
  • Alana Mathews, Director of Policy Resources and Training at Prosecutors Alliance of California

Date:  September 30, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


U.S. Treasury Announces ARPA Reporting Deadline Extensions for Counties Impacted by Wildfire or Technical Difficulties

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced some important ARPA reporting deadline extensions for counties impacted by wildfire and technical glitches on the Treasury reporting website. You can find details and important links below:
COUNTIES EXPERIENCING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH ARP REPORTING: The U.S. Treasury understands that some recipients have had technical problems that have made it difficult for them to submit their reports on time. Treasury continues to assist individual recipients and hopes to resolve remaining technical issues as soon as possible. Those recipients who made a reasonable effort to file before the deadline will not be counted as late if they experienced technical issues in the reporting system that prevented them from filing on time. 
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM THE U.S. TREASURY FOR COUNTIES IMPACTED BY WILDFIRES: The U.S. Treasury recognizes that some local jurisdictions and tribal governments may be unable to timely submit reports due to health and public safety concerns in their area. Any jurisdiction that is covered by a Governor or Tribal declared state of emergency and remains unable to submit the report due to emergency conditions should notify Treasury, providing a clear explanation of why the report has not been submitted, and proposing a specific date by which the report will be ready for submission. Treasury will document this information in its reporting system so that such jurisdictions would not be included in any public reporting by Treasury about jurisdictions that failed to submit reports in a timely manner. This request and related explanation should be sent to The Interim Report and the Recovery Plan Performance Report (Recovery Plan), if applicable, should be submitted through Treasury’s State, Local, and Tribal Support portal via the following link:


FEMA Announces Application Period for 2021 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin accepting applications on September 30, 2021 for $1.16 billion in FY 2021 Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants, providing localities the opportunity to receive Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation grants. These grants recognize the growing hazards of extreme weather events and the need for risk mitigation activities to promote climate adaptation and resilience. The financial assistance through the BRIC program may fund state and local government pre-disaster capability and capacity building activities, mitigation projects, and cover management costs.

FEMA informational webinars can be accessed here, and more information can be viewed here or at Additionally, the National Association of Counties (NACo) is offering an educational webinar on FEMA’s BRIC program on September 9, 2021, please see here. The FEMA application period closes on January 28, 2022. 


Grant Opportunities Available for Innovative Resiliency Projects

The “California Resilience Challenge” provides grants up to $200,000 to help protect under-resourced communities against climate-related threats such as wildfire, drought, flood and extreme heat events. See prior project winners here. Eligible entities that many apply include local and regional jurisdictions such as counties, cities, special districts, tribes and community-based organizations. For more information, see here. Applications are due September 13, 2021.


Access the State Grants Portal for a Multitude of Funding Opportunities

Billions of dollars are up for grabs to public agencies and other entities, including tribes and businesses. Grant seekers can access a centralized portal of grant and loan opportunities here, or sign up to receive new grant opportunities delivered straight to your inbox. 


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.


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

Assembly Bill 246 (Quirk) Contractors: disciplinary actions. Assembly Bill 246 allows the Contractors State Licensing Board to take disciplinary actions against a contractor who violates state or local laws prohibiting illegal dumping.  Status: AB 246 was signed by Governor Newsom. RCRC Status: Support

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 is a two-year bill. 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 awaits consideration by the Governor. 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 was signed by the Governor. RCRC Status:  Support

Assembly Bill 418 (Valladares) Note: Assembly Bill 418 codifies a Community Power Resiliency Program modeled after some of the recent Office of Emergency Services grant allocations to counties, cities, special districts and tribal governments. Status: AB 418 awaits consideration by the Governor.  RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 819 (Levine) California Environmental Quality Act: notices and documents: electronic filing and posting.  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 was signed by the Governor. 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 by the Governor. 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 by the Governor. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 970 (McCarty): Planning and zoning: electric vehicle charging stations: permit application approval: AB 970 will require applications to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to be deemed complete by a local jurisdiction within five business days for one to 25 charging stations on a single site, or 10 business days to construct 25 or more, and also requires such applications to be deemed approved within 20 or 40 business days (respectively) after the application was submitted, as specified. For a local jurisdiction with a population of less than 200,000 residents, the bill’s provisions would become operative on January 1, 2023. Status: AB 970 await consideration by the Governor. RCRC Status: Oppose

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 is a 2-Year bill. RCRC Status: Support

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 is a two-year bill. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1201 (Ting) Solid waste: plastic products: labeling: composability and biodegradability. Requires CalRecycle to adopt regulations requiring local jurisdictions to bifurcate organic waste collection and processing systems if it first determines that is feasible to do so and bifurcation will improve processing and recycling.  Authorizes CalRecycle to adopt regulations for plastic product labeling to ensure that plastic products labeled as compostable or home compostable are clearly distinguishable from no compostable products.  Prohibits the sale of a plastic product labeled as compostable, home compostable, or soil biodegradable unless the product meets specified standards.  Status: AB 1201 awaits consideration by the Governor. RCRC Status: Oppose

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 by the Governor. 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 by the Governor. RCRC Status: Neutral

Assembly Bill 1346 (Berman and Gonzalez): Air pollution: small off-road engines: Assembly Bill 1346 would require the California Air Resources Board, by July 1, 2022, to adopt cost-effective and technologically feasible regulations to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new small off-road engines, which include portable generators as well as lawn and garden equipment. Status: AB 1346 await consideration by the Governor. RCRC Status: Oppose Unless Amended.

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 can be declared by the Governor under the California Emergency Services Act. Status: AB 1403 awaits consideration by the Governor. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 37 (Cortese) California Environmental Quality Act Exemption.  Senate Bill 37 eliminates the ability to use a “common sense exemption” under the California Environmental Quality Act for any projects undertaken at over 40,000 sites throughout the state that appear on the Cortese List of currently or formerly contaminated properties.  Instead allows specified types of projects to use either a statutory or categorical CEQA exemption if certain circumstances are met.  Status:  SB 37 was moved to the Senate Inactive File.  RCRC Status:  Neutral

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 by the Governor. RCRC Status: Support

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 was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the Suspense File.  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 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 by the Governor. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 341 (McGuire) Makes several changes to increase oversight and accountability of telecommunications service outages. Status: SB 341 awaits consideration by the Governor. 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 by the Governor. RCRC Status: Watch

Senate Bill 533 (Stern) Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans: deenergization events: microgrids. Requires utilities to discuss in their Wildfire Mitigation Plans efforts to improve their electrical systems, focused on those areas and assets that have been deenergized the greatest number of times.   Status: SB 533 awaits consideration by the Governor. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 594 (Glazer): Elections: Redistricting. This bill would, for the June 7, 2022, statewide direct primary election, make various changes, as specified, to existing law relating to candidate nominations and compilation of registered voter data to accommodate the extended state redistricting deadline. The bill includes a provision to clarify that the requirement for counties to adopt supervisorial district boundaries can be satisfied by either ordinance or resolution. Status: Enrolled. RCRC Status: Support.

Senate Bill 619 (Laird) Organic waste: reduction regulations. Provides local governments with one additional year to come into compliance with SB 1383 organic waste recycling regulations without being subject to penalties by CalRecycle, if certain conditions are met.    Status: SB 619 awaits consideration by the Governor. RCRC Status: Neutral