BILL ANALYSIS Ó 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 AB 296 (Skinner) Page 1 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 AB 296 (Skinner) Page 2 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 AB 296 (Skinner) Page 3 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.