The Barbed Wire - September 3, 2021

September 3, 2021
RCRC Urges Legislature to Allocate Entire Cap-and-Trade Windfall to Wildfire Prevention
Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 619 (Laird) – Organic Waste Recycling
Governor Requests Federal Emergency Declaration for Caldor Fire
Don’t Miss the RCRC Dinner Auction and Basket Drawing Event of 2021!
Democrats Call for More Reconciliation Money to Fight Western Drought and Wildfire
Navigable Waters Protection Rule Vacated by Judge
Louisiana Power Failure Sparks Grid Resiliency Conversations in Congress
FEMA Requests Feedback on Community Rating System To Inform Program Planning Improvements
Meet RCRC Chairman’s Circle Sponsor Ygrene
RCRC and CSAC Present Opportunity for County Input on CalPERS Investment Portfolio in Upcoming Webinar
RCRC Hometown California Podcast on Hiatus

RCRC Urges Legislature to Allocate Entire Cap-and-Trade Windfall to Wildfire Prevention

RCRC has urged the Legislature to allocate an additional $203 million to wildfire prevention and forest resilience programs from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), the full estimated amount available for such programs from the August Cap-and-Trade auction. The current 2021-22 State Budget Package has less than $500 million dedicated to wildfire mitigation and forest management projects, with another $500 million to be made available “if needed” during the fiscal year. RCRC has urged the Legislature to demonstrate the necessary sense of urgency around protecting California’s residents from future catastrophic wildfires by increasing the current allocations from the GGRF. 

The August quarterly carbon Cap-and-Trade auction netted the highest proceeds in the program’s history, earning an unprecedented $1.14 billion for California’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. Included in the auction windfall is an estimated $203 million available for programs that aren’t already subject to continuous appropriations by the Legislature from the GGRF. As the state experiences another record-breaking wildfire season, RCRC sent a letter to Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon on August 27, 2021 strongly urging the Legislature to allocate the entirety of the available August GGRF funds to fire prevention and forest health projects.

RCRC’s letter to Senate Pro Tem Atkins and Speaker Rendon can be viewed here

Bill of the Week: Senate Bill 619 (Laird) – Organic Waste Recycling

RCRC reluctantly withdrew its support for Senate Bill 619, authored by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), in light of amendments adopted on September 3.  SB 619 currently allows local governments to come into compliance with SB 1383 organic waste recycling regulations by January 1, 2023 without being subject to penalties by CalRecycle, if certain conditions are met.  

RCRC had been working diligently with Senator Laird and other local government associations throughout the year to provide local governments with clarifications and regulatory and enforcement relief from some of the looming deadlines associated with CalRecycle’s new organic waste recycling regulations. Those regulations require the state to reduce landfill disposal of organic waste 75 percent by 2025 and to increase edible food waste recovery 20 percent.

RCRC was very pleased when Senator Laird amended SB 619 on August 30 to provide much needed relief to rural jurisdictions. Those amendments would have:  1) Established a residential de minimis waiver process; and, 2) Required generators to self-haul in lieu of the local jurisdiction providing collection service where the jurisdiction finds, based on substantial evidence, that it would be exceptionally difficult, impractical, or impossible to provide mandatory organic waste collection services because of safety and access issues.

The August 30th amends were of tremendous benefit to rural jurisdictions.  While the SB 1383 organic waste recycling regulations allow jurisdictions to issue de minimis waivers to commercial generators, there is no similar provision allowing the issuance of de minimis waivers for residential generators. SB 619 would have addressed this oversight.  Moreover, the new organic waste regulations require local jurisdictions to provide collection service to all residents; however, this ignores the reality many rural communities face where some areas are inaccessible to solid waste collection trucks. The August 30 amendments provided a much-needed refinement that recognizes that universal route collection is not suitable in all areas of the state and allows locals to require residents in those areas to self-haul their organic waste in lieu of having to provide collection service.

Some stakeholders raised a legitimate concern that ambiguity with the drafting of the August 30 amendments could have been interpreted to enable CalRecycle to further restrict self-hauling in other contexts. This was not the intent and RCRC worked hard with other jurisdictions to convince Senator Laird to either adopt refinements or add intent language to resolve that problem.  CalRecycle resisted those efforts and the author declined to adopt intent language clarifying the matter.  Instead, SB 619 was amended on September 3 to remove the provisions of the bill that provide the greatest benefit to rural areas. With those provisions removed, RCRC reluctantly removed its support for the bill, arguing that the amendments do not reflect a desire by the Legislature to deny such relief to rural jurisdictions, but instead reflect an inability to resolve those issues in the limited time remaining.

RCRC’s letter of support for SB 619 can be accessed here and its letter removing support in response to the September 3, 2021 amendments can be found here.  For more information, please contact RCRC Legislative Advocate, John Kennedy.

Governor Requests Federal Emergency Declaration for Caldor Fire

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom officially requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration for the Caldor Fire to secure federal aid for communities impacted by the fire. The request follows two separate state emergency declarations by the Governor, the first for El Dorado County and the second which added Alpine, Amador and Placer Counties. 

The request is the second Presidential Emergency Declaration request Governor Newsom has issued in recent weeks, the first coming for response to the Dixie Fire in Lassen, Nevada, Placer and Plumas Counties which was approved last week. A Presidential Emergency Declaration helps with emergency response and recovery costs for state, local and tribal governments in impacted communities. The state has already secured a Fire Management Assistant Grant (FMAG) from FEMA to help with fire suppression costs for the Caldor Fire.

Full text of the Governor’s request can be found here

Don’t Miss the RCRC Dinner Auction and Basket Drawing Event of 2021!

The County Basket Drawing and Dinner Auction, held on Thursday evening, is an RCRC Annual Meeting favorite! Community pride is on display as County Baskets, curated with unique, wonderful items from RCRC member counties are won in a drawing or sold to the highest bidder in the auction to raise money for charity. This year, proceeds from the County Basket Auction will benefit numerous Mono County resource providers, including the Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra/National Wounded Warrior Center, the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps, the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves, and the Mono Arts Council. Do not miss this fun event! Click here to register now for RCRC's Annual Meeting, September 29 to October 1, 2021, in Monterey County.

Democrats Call for More Reconciliation Money to Fight Western Drought and Wildfire

Last week, 68 House Democrats — led by Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) and with co-signers from the RCRC delegation including Representatives Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara), and Jim Costa (D-Fresno) — sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), criticizing the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI)’s funding under the $3.5 trillion budget resolution the Senate passed last month.  The group called the proposed funding “disappointing,” adding that the money the DOI would receive under the Senate version falls well short of what is required to address a growing wildfire and brought season in the West. 
In an August 24th memo from House Natural Resources Committee staff, members were told the panel would propose spending $5.5 billion to $6 billion more than the $25.6 billion it was allocated in its instructions for its portion of the budget reconciliation bill.  The House Natural Resources Committee was scheduled to mark up its portion of the bill — which includes funding for the DOI — this Thursday, but now plans to continue the markup next Thursday after considering a slew of amendments yesterday.

Navigable Waters Protection Rule Vacated by Judge

On Monday, a federal judge threw out a major Trump Administration rule that scaled back the federal definition of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS).  The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, which applies nationwide, will afford new protections for drinking-water supplies for millions of Americans, as well as for thousands of wildlife species that depend on America’s wetland acreage.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had successfully pressed courts in other parts of the country to allow the Biden Administration to come up with a new definition of WOTUS without immediately scrapping the Trump Administration’s rule.  Nevertheless, this ruling found that the Trump Administration’s rule, which gutted the Obama Administration’s 2015 Clean Water Rule, was too flawed to keep in place.
While celebrated by environmental groups, this ruling casts uncertainty over farmers and ranchers across the country on the status of federal wetlands jurisdiction as well as puts possibly hundreds of projects currently underway across the country in a legal limbo. 

Louisiana Power Failure Sparks Grid Resiliency Conversations in Congress

Following Hurricane Ida’s impact on Louisiana, the storm left the entire city of New Orleans and much of the state at large without power following significant damage to critical electric transmission lines. Subsequently, infrastructure advocates in Congress are using this crisis as an opportunity to pitch grid resiliency funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Agreement that recently passed the Senate. As passed in the Senate, the agreement includes $50 billion for critical infrastructure resiliency and $65 billion for the power grid.  Following the storm this past weekend, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) stated that, “we gotta start now for next year’s hurricane, next years wildfire, next years tornado and that infrastructure package is part of that…I’m sure hoping that Republicans look around my state, see this damage and say if there’s money for resiliency, money to harden the grid, money to help sewer and water, then maybe this is something we should be for.”

FEMA Requests Feedback on Community Rating System To Inform Program Planning Improvements

In light of recent Executive orders focused on equity, climate change and environmental justice, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued a Request for Information on the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) Community Rating System program. The Community Rating System is a voluntary program that incentivizes floodplain management activities that exceed minimum requirements by offering discounts on flood insurance premiums for NFIP policy holders; these discounts can range from 5% to up to 45%. FEMA is seeking input to inform efforts to better align various floodplain management initiatives with improved understanding of flood risk and risk mitigation, incentivize communities and policyholders to be more resilient by lowering their vulnerability to flood risk, as well as support the financial integrity of the NFIP. More specifically, FEMA is soliciting ideas to reduce the risks of climate change, sea-level rise, and future development through greater participation in the program, including potentially expanding or streamlining the program for multi-jurisdictional collaboration. 

For more information, please see here. Written comments are due on September 22, 2021. Counties are encouraged to share feedback with RCRC, including nature-based solutions or projects to improve resiliency or to mitigate flood risk; please contact RCRC Regulatory Affairs Advocate, Leigh Kammerich

Meet RCRC Chairman’s Circle Sponsor Ygrene

Ygrene’s award-winning property improvement financing, with built-in consumer protections, is delivering greater choice for home and business owners by providing access to affordable financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, natural disaster protection, and seismic upgrades. In addition, Ygrene financing can support public policy initiatives - at no cost to local government. By providing over $2.5 billion of private capital to more than 550 local communities, Ygrene has created jobs and invested millions into local economies across the U.S. Watch this brief video to learn more, and be sure to connect with Ygrene at RCRC’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Monterey County.

RCRC and CSAC Present Opportunity for County Input on CalPERS Investment Portfolio in Upcoming Webinar

Pension costs are the second largest line item on county budgets; only salaries are a bigger expense.  CalPERS is in the midst of reviewing the discount rate - the target rate of return for investment portfolios - and the factors that go into this momentous decision.  At stake are the costs that county employers pay to fund retirement benefits, direct employee contribution increases from paychecks, and the long-term stability of the retirement system itself.  

RCRC and CSAC are teaming up to present counties with an update and opportunity to engage in discussion with CalPERS. On this webinar, the CalPERS Deputy Chief Actuary will detail the factors that the Board will be weighing as they evaluate different investment portfolios with different degrees of risk, review life expectancy and inflation estimates, potential impacts on city costs, and how any changes would be phased in. 

This is an important and consequential time for CalPERS and for our counties. Join us on September 23, 2021 at 10:00 AM to learn the current state of play and hear about our opportunities for ongoing stakeholder engagement. You must register in advance to attend this webinar. Register today!

Date:  Thursday, September 23, 2021
Time:  10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Register Here

RCRC Hometown California Podcast on Hiatus

RCRC’s Hometown California Podcast will be on hiatus indefinitely, while RCRC focuses on other communication priorities. While this means new episodes will not be produced at this time, all previously released episodes of the podcast will remain available to listen and download here. Since the inception of the Hometown California Podcast in July 2020, RCRC has told the story of rural California through the eyes of those who live, work, and play in rural communities. We are grateful to those who have shared their stories through the podcast over the past year, and to our many faithful listeners. While Hometown California is on hiatus, you can stay informed regarding the efforts of RCRC and the latest in rural California policy by continuing to read each edition of the Barbed Wire Newsletter, visiting, and following RCRC on social media: Twitter (@RuralCounties), Facebook (@RuralCounties), and Instagram (@ca_RuralCounties).


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


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. 


California Redistricting Commission Seeks Input at Communities of Interest Meetings

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission will be holding Communities of Interest (COI) meetings, welcoming input. You may register to secure a speaking time slot. You may also call in the same day from anywhere in California to provide input without registering. For a complete list of upcoming COI meetings, and details about how to participate, please click here.


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: Assembly Bill 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 awaitsAssembly Concurrence in Senate Amendments.  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 Assembly concurrent in Senate amendments. 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 awaits consideration for concurrence on the Assembly Floor. 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. 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 on the Senate Floor. RCRC Status: Support

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 on the Senate Floor. 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 awaits consideration on the Senate Floor. 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 on the Senate Floor. 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 and increased payments to redemption centers with an even greater increase in rural areas.  Status: AB 1454 is a two year bill.  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 is certain circumstances are met.  Status:  SB 37 awaits consideration on the Assembly Floor.  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  on the Senate Concurrence File. 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 on the Assembly Floor. 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 on the Assembly Floor. 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 on the Assembly Floor. RCRC Status: Neutral