Halfway Through The Legislative Year: List of active priority environmental bills

The following bills passed off the Assembly floor and are now in the Senate:

AB 320 (Hill) –  Bill aims to prevent CEQA lawsuits and litigation from being thrown out in the event a “recipient of approval” appears only after the statute of limitations time period has passed. The bill will help bring clarity to the question of which parties must be named in CEQA lawsuits and litigation. (PCL SPONSORED)

AB 341 (Chesbro) – Bill presents a package of policies that will move California forward from land filling to waste reduction, recycling, and composting, by setting a statewide diversion goal of 75% and finally expanding recycling opportunities to the state’s largest underserved sectors: businesses and apartment buildings.

AB 359 (Huffman) – Bill promotes the management and protection of the state’s groundwater supplies by requiring, as a condition of receiving a state grants or loans, local water agencies to map the recharge areas that substantially contribute to the replenishment of the groundwater basin. The bill also requires local groundwater agencies to submit recharge maps to local planning agencies and expand public notification when preparing and approving groundwater plans.

AB 376 (Fong) – This bill would make it unlawful for any person to possess, sell, offer for sale, trade, or distribute a shark fin in the attempt to minimize dangerous falls in shark populations and consequent damages to the world’s marine ecosystems.

AB 591 (Wieckowski) – This bill would require drillers who use hydraulic fracturing to extract oil or gas to disclose the chemicals injected underground, the source and amount of water used, and location of the well related to active seismic faults.

AB 685 (Eng) – This bill, part of the Human Right to Water Bill Package, will establish in statute a state policy that every Californian has the right to safe, affordable water for basic human needs, and asks state agencies to integrate the policy as they implement or amend programs.

AB 703 (Gordon) – This bill would continue a 40-year legislative legacy of providing property tax incentives for non-profit ownership and stewardship of open-space and park lands. Lands benefiting from the current exemption complement existing local, state, and federal park lands, and they do so without drawing upon scarce public funds. They are managed solely by non-profit organizations to achieve lasting and cost-effective benefits to the public.

AB 796 (Blumenfield) – By incentivizing private investments in California-based clean technology companies, this bill would allow the CA Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Authority to create a loan-loss reserve account in the state treasury to incentivize private lending to qualified California-based renewable energy companies. Bill aims to boostCalifornia’s renewable energy industry, create new jobs, and get closer to our AB 32 greenhouse gas reduction targets.

AB 938 (V. Manuel Pérez) – This bill, part of the Human Right to Water Bill Package, would require the public water system provide a written and non written public notice in English, Spanish, and in the language spoken by prescribed numbers of residents of the community served, in the event the public water system does not meet safe water drinking requirements.

AB 1221 (Alejo) – By channel funds from the State Drink Water Revolving Fund, this bill would help with infrastructural projects that deliver safe drinking water and allow for responsible waste water management in rural and disadvantaged communities throughout the state.

AB 1319 (Butler) – This bill would enact the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act, which would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution in commerce of any infant formula, liquid, baby food, or beverage that contains bisphenol A (BPA) at a level above 0.1 parts per billion (ppb). The bill would also require manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing BPA in containers.

The following bills passed off the Senate floor and are now in the Assembly:

SB 244 (Wolk) –  This bill, part of the Human Right to Water Bill Package, seeks to provide underserved communities with basic needs such as clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal by requiring that cities and counties indentify and include unincorporated island, fringe, or legacy communities in their plans, data and analysis, goals, and implementation measures.

SB 263 (Pavley) – CurrentlyCalifornia is the only western state that does not have its water well logs readily accessible to the public. Well logs provide critical information for groundwater managers, hydrologists and academics, to name a few. Unfortunately, those who benefit from the information do not have access to the already public information. This bill would make well logs for any well drilled after 1/1/12 public.

SB 454 (Pavley) – Bill allows the California Energy Commission to enforce energy efficiency standards for appliances. This bill requires recipients of energy efficiency rebates to certify that licensed contractors were used and any required permits obtained.  SB 454 helps level the playing field for builders, contractors and businesses who are complying withCalifornia’s efficiency standards.    

SB 468 (Kehoe) – This bill requires Caltrans for capacity increasing projects on the state highway system that widen the existing highway located in the North Coast Corridor to concurrently build out their mass-transit projects.

SB 517 (Lowenthal) – Bill would reorder the High-Speed Rail Authority in order to establish a well-informed body that is more accountable to the state of California. In addition to other revisions, this bill would place the Authority within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and require the members of the authority appointed by the Governor to be appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. (PCL Lead Sponsor)

SB 535 (De León) – This bill establishes the CA Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust. The Trust ensures we meet the promise of AB 32 to protect and strengthen CA’s most disadvantaged communities by providing these communities with AB 32-related green economic investments. Does NOT authorize a new tax or fee, rather it directs 10 cents of each AB 32 revenue dollar in the neighborhoods which will suffer first and worst from the climate crisis.

SB 568 (Lowenthal) Bill would eliminate polystyrene foam food take-out containers state-wide, thereby reducing public and worker exposure to Styrene, a carcinogen in lab animals that migrates from foam containers into food and beverages.

SB 580 (Wolk) – Bill establishes strong protections for state parks and advances a principle of “no net loss” of state park lands. If a situation arises that pits state parks against another competing public interest, this bill would ensure there is no net loss of park resources for theCalifornia public.

SB 582 (Emmerson) – Bill allows a local air district and a metropolitan planning organization to jointly adopt a commute benefit ordinance for their region that requires medium and large employers to offer commute benefits to covered employees. Employers would have a choice to offer either pretax payroll deductions allowed by federal tax law, employer-paid transit passes, or employer-provided transit.

SB 833 (Vargas) – This bill protects critical drinking water sources and sacred Native American sites in Northern San Diego County by making it illegal to operate a landfill within 1,000 feet of those sensitive resources. This bill applies only to new landfills and not existing, permitted landfills or any expansion of an existing, permitted landfill.