Climate adaptation bill appears to have stalled

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 1, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

This year Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) introduced AB 752 – "Tidelands and Submerged Lands: Sea Level Action Plan” It would require local trustees of public lands exceeding $250,000 in gross trust revenues to prepare a sea level action plan that includes among other things:  an assessment of the impact of a range of rising sea levels on granted public trust lands, an estimate of the financial cost of this impact, strategies to prevent or mitigate damage to development and infrastructure, and a plan to protect and enhance habitat. The State Lands Commission would be mandated to exempt a trustee from the requirement if the revenues derived from it granted public trust lands and assets are not sufficient to pay for the cost of developing the plan.

While such a plan may be of value over the next 50 to 100 years, it does not appear prudent to mandate such a study in today’s economic environment.  The need is not immediate and state resources are scarce.  This bill would produce a patchwork of such plans up and down the state without a clear overriding plan.

Absent a resolution of how issues such as sea level change will be addressed under the California Environmental Quality Act , as well as how the recently released California Climate Adaptation Strategy document is implemented over time, this bill appears likely to result in costly and duplicative work for local governments, other trustees, and lessees and other users of trust lands.  CMTA has opposed the bill as untimely, inefficient, and potentially costly to California businesses and local governments.

This bill was set for hearing in Senate Natural Resources Committee on June 8th, but was cancelled at the request of the author. Since the Senate Natural Resources Committee is not currently scheduled to meet next week, the bill may falter. The deadline for bills getting out of policy committees in the second house is Friday, July 8th.

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