BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair


          AB 296 (Skinner) - Building standards: cool pavements.
          
          Amended: June 21, 2011          Policy Vote: T&H 6-3
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: No
          Hearing Date: August 16, 2012                          
          Consultant: Mark McKenzie       
          
          SUSPENSE FILE.  AS PROPOSED TO BE AMENDED.


          Bill Summary: AB 296, as proposed to be amended, would require 
          the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to develop one or 
          more standard specifications for cool pavement or materials by 
          January 1, 2014.  The bill would also require Caltrans, when 
          developing sustainable or cool pavement technologies and 
          performing pavement life-cycle analysis, to consider specified 
          environmental, public health, and other benefits during the 
          use-phase. 

          Fiscal Impact: 
              Unknown one-time costs to Caltrans, potentially up to 
              $500,000 (State Highway Account), to develop one or more 
              cool pavement specifications.  

              Unknown, likely moderate costs to Caltrans to consider 
              specified benefits during pavement use-phase when developing 
              pavement technologies.

          Background: According to the Federal Environmental Protection 
          Agency (EPA), the term "heat island" refers to warmer urban air 
          and surface temperatures that result when natural landscape is 
          replaced with hardscape surfaces such as pavement, buildings, 
          and other infrastructure.  Studies performed by the EPA and 
          others have shown that the mean air temperature of urban areas 
          can be significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas and 
          that these warmer urban temperatures can result in increased 
          summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air 
          pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.  

          Proposed Law: This bill would require Caltrans to develop and 
          publish a Cool Pavements Handbook, conduct one or more cool 
          pavement pilot projects, and report to the Legislature on the 








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          costs of using various pavement surfaces and the results of the 
          pilot project.  Specifically, this bill would:
           Require Caltrans to publish or make available on its website 
            by January 1, 2014 a Cool Pavements Handbook that incorporates 
            existing specifications, testing protocols, and best practices 
            for cool pavement use in any surface designed for vehicular or 
            pedestrian use, as specified.
           Encourage Caltrans to consult with specified state agencies to 
            develop the Cool Pavements Handbook.
           Authorize Caltrans to enter into an agreement with the United 
            States Department of Transportation, United States EPA, the 
            United States Department of Energy, or other federal agencies 
            to develop the handbook or evaluate the pilot project.
           Require Caltrans to include references to the Cool Pavements 
            Handbook in its Construction Manual.
           Require Caltrans to implement one or more cool pavement pilot 
            projects with a goal of completing construction by January 1, 
            2015.
           Require Caltrans to submit a report to the Legislature by 
            January 1, 2018 that includes the environmental benefits, 
            energy savings, and durability of various pavement options, an 
            analysis of the upfront and life-cycle costs of pavement 
            surfaces, the results of the pilot projects.
           Require the Building Standards Commission (BSC), for the next 
            triennial code adopted after January 1, 2015, to consider 
            incorporating the specifications in the Cool Pavements 
            Handbook into the California Green Building Standards Code.

          Staff Comments: This bill is intended to provide a collection of 
          existing specifications, testing protocols, and best practices 
          for hardscape alternatives that reduce the heat island effect in 
          a single state publication that may be incorporated into the 
          California Green Building Standards Code.  The bill would 
          require Caltrans to identify "cool pavement" alternative 
          hardscapes or techniques that do one or more of the following:  
          reduce surface temperature relative to traditional unshaded 
          asphalt; have a light color or high albedo; reduce diurnal 
          thermal stress; remove greenhouse gases; or reduce stormwater 
          runoff by using porous pavement, open-grid systems, vegetative 
          surfaces, or bioswales.  There is no current official standard 
          or labeling program to designate cool paving materials or 
          identify which materials perform best under given circumstances.

          Caltrans indicates that lacks the technical expertise to fully 








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          evaluate the existing research related to the use of cool 
          pavements, and to conduct a meaningful analysis of environmental 
          benefits and energy savings related to the use of various 
          pavement options.  The bill authorizes Caltrans to contract with 
          specified federal entities, such as the EPA, that may have the 
          capacity to perform this work.  Caltrans indicates that 
          department staff and contracting costs would likely be in the 
          range of $2 million to complete the Cool Pavements Handbook.  
          Associated tasks include evaluating and compiling existing 
          specifications, testing protocols, and best practices, as well 
          as conducting research and analysis related to the use of 
          various pavement options. 

          Costs associated with conducting a cool pavements pilot project 
          are unknown and would depend upon the scope and scale of the 
          project or projects that Caltrans determines to be suitable for 
          an effective evaluation of the use of cool pavement.  The bill 
          does not prescribe parameters of any pilot projects, instead 
          opting to leave the discretion to Caltrans.  The department 
          would have to build these capital costs into its annual budget.  
          Staff notes that the one year time period between completion of 
          the Cool Pavement Handbook and the anticipated completion of 
          construction may be insufficient.  In addition, the three-year 
          time period between projected project completion and the report 
          to the Legislature is likely insufficient to determine long-term 
          costs or benefits from using cool pavement.  

          The existing California Green Building Standards Code includes 
          voluntary standards for nonresidential provisions to address the 
          impacts of the heat island effect.  These standards provide for 
          hardscape alternatives for the reduction of nonroof head islands 
          on projects by either siting 50% of onsite parking underground 
          or by using one or a combination of three specified strategies 
          for use on 50% of site hardscape (providing shade, using light 
          colored or high albedo materials, or using an open-grid pavement 
          system).  The bill would impose costs of around $35,000 on the 
          Building Standards Commission to conduct rulemaking procedures 
          related to the inclusion of specifications proposed in the Cool 
          Pavement Handbook into the California Green Building Standards 
          Code.

          PROPOSED AMENDMENTS would strike the current contents of the 
          bill, and instead require Caltrans to develop one or more 
          standard specifications for cool pavement or materials by 








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          January 1, 2014.  The bill would also require Caltrans, when 
          developing sustainable or cool pavement technologies and 
          performing pavement life-cycle analysis, to consider specified 
          environmental, public health, and other benefits during the 
          use-phase.