Agriculture and Natural Resources
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Animal Feeding Operations
AB 576 – Oppose
AB 576, by Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter, is scheduled to be heard before the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 26. This bill would prohibit a person from operating an animal feeding operation or concentrated animal feeding operation within 2.5 miles of the boundary of Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park located in Tulare County. CSAC is opposing this measure because it would have negative, precedent-setting consequences that would open the door for other state intrusions into the local land use decision-making process. We have voiced these concerns to members of the Legislature, and strongly asserted that such matters should remain at the local level, where city and county decision makers are familiar with the circumstances surrounding a proposed project. CSAC urges other counties to join us in opposing this measure given the negative precedent it would establish relative to local control.
SB 412 – Request Comments
SB 412, by Senator Joe Simitian, would enact the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project Evaluation Act, which would require the California Energy Commission to submit to the Legislature and Governor, by July 2008, a LNG Needs Evaluation Report. The report would contain (1) an assessment of natural gas supplies, (2) a greenhouse gas emission evaluation, (3) a finding on whether California's projected natural gas demand through 2017 can be met without the importation of LNG, (4) the impact of reducing electricity derived from coal, and (5) the impacts of new fossil fuel infrastructures. It would also place various restrictions on the issuance of permits for LNG facilities in the state, pipelines from LNG facilities out of the state and on or offshore LNG projects, until the LNG Needs Evaluation Report is adopted. This bill is scheduled to be heard on July 2 before the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee.
AB 5 (Wolk) – Request For Comment
AB 5, by Assembly Member Lois Wolk, would continue to require the Department of Water Resources to prepare a Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. The June 6 amendment would “require” local agencies to comply with the flood protection standards set forth in the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan or adopt a local plan of flood protection. It would continue to give priority for state bond funds to local agencies that have adopted local flood protection plans. AB 5 is scheduled to be heard before the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 26.
AB 70 (Jones) – Oppose
AB 70, by Assembly Member Dave Jones, is scheduled to be heard before the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 26. This bill would provide that a city or county may be subject to liability for property damage caused by a flood if a court finds the city or county’s actions increased the state’s exposure to liability by unreasonably approving new development in a previously undeveloped area protected by a state flood control project. It applies to cities and counties in the Central Valley. CSAC, the League of California Cities and the Regional Council of Rural Counties remain opposed to this bill.
AB 70 does not address the underlying problem with the state’s levee and flood control system – that of deferred maintenance and lack of funds for repairs. Instead, it simply brings in local governments to share in the liability for damages in order to shield the state from future lawsuits.
This bill also fails to address the full range of issues that local agencies must address when they plan for housing. Indeed, the state requires all local governments to plan for their fair share of the housing need. This places cities in a catch-22. Either they approve housing and take on flood liability or they avoid flood liability and are potentially out of compliance with their Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). CSAC urges counties in the Central Valley to immediately contact your legislative delegation to express opposition to AB 70.
SB 5 – Request For Comment
SB 5, by Senator Mike Machado, is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on June 26. This bill would require the Department of Water Resources to prepare a Sacramento-San Joaquin River Flood Management System Plan. In addition, the bill would require cities and counties to revise their general plans after the adoption of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Flood Management System Plan to adequately address flood risks for all new development. It would also require cities and counties to address flood risks in local general plans, zoning ordinances, the land use decision-making process, and provide public notice to specific areas that may be protected by a flood control facility or that are located in a flood hazard area. The bill would prohibit cities and counties from issuing entitlement permits(discretionary or ministerial) and approving subdivisionsunless findings show that the project is protected by specified flood protection facilities or local conditions have been imposed to protect againstunreasonable risks.
SB 719 – Oppose
SB 719, by Senator Mike Machado, would change the composition of the governing board of the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (the district), and revise the board member appointments procedure. CSAC opposes SB 719 on the basis that it is unnecessary, and will do nothing to improve the air pollution problem in the San Joaquin Valley. The existing board has made tremendous strides to address air quality issues, including the adoption of an aggressive plan to bring the San Joaquin Valley into attainment of the federal ozone standard by 2020. We are concerned that the proposed reconfiguration has the potential to impede such efforts by diminishing local control and accountability through the appointment of individuals that are not directly accountable Valley voters. The Assembly Local Government Committee is set to hear SB 719 on June 27.