BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:   April 29, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
                               Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair
                 AB 14 (Lowenthal) - As Introduced:  December 3, 2012
           
          SUBJECT  :  State Freight Plan

           SUMMARY  :  Mandates the preparation of a state freight plan and  
          the establishment of an advisory committee to help develop the  
          plan.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency  
            (Agency) to prepare a state freight plan (plan) with specified  
            elements to govern the immediate and long-range planning  
            activities and capital investments with respect to the  
            movement of freight.  

          2)Requires that the plan comply with the relevant provisions of  
            the federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act  
            (MAP-21).  

          3)Requires the Agency to establish a freight advisory committee  
            (committee) and prescribes its composition.  

          4)Specifies the duties and responsibilities of the committee.  

          5)Delineates the minimum required elements of the plan.  

          6)Requires that the plan be submitted to the Legislature, the  
            Governor, and certain state agencies by December 31, 2014, and  
            updated every 5 years thereafter.  

          7)Allows the state freight plan to be developed separately from,  
            or incorporated into, the statewide strategic long-range  
            transportation plan required by federal law.  

          8)Allows the freight element of the state freight plan to be  
            developed separately from, or incorporated into, the state  
            rail plan prepared by the California Department of  
            Transportation (Caltrans).  

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Existing federal law, MAP-21, encourages but does not require  








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            states to develop and submit to the Federal Highway  
            Administration individual state freight plans.  Additionally,  
            states are encouraged but not required to establish freight  
            advisory committees to aid in the development of the state  
            goods movement plans.  

          2)Existing federal law requires each state to develop a  
            statewide transportation plan and a statewide transportation  
            improvement program for all areas of the state.  

          3)Creates the Business, Transportation and Housing (BT&H) Agency  
            in state government, consisting of various departments,  
            including Caltrans, which, among other things, is responsible  
            for the state highway system.  

          4)Requires Caltrans to prepare a state rail plan, which contains  
            a freight element.  

          5)Requires Caltrans to develop the interregional blueprint, as  
            part of the development of the California Transportation Plan,  
            to assess how the metropolitan planning organization's  
            sustainable communities strategies implementation will  
            influence the configuration of the statewide multimodal  
            transportation system.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  Last summer, Congress passed, and the President  
          signed, federal transportation reauthorization legislation,  
          MAP-21.   MAP-21 directs the US Department of Transportation (US  
          DOT) to develop a new national freight program that will provide  
          a basis for federal investment in trade-facilitating  
          infrastructure development.  As a part of this new federal  
          initiative, MAP-21 essentially does three things:  

          1)It encourages states to develop comprehensive plans for  
            immediate and long-range freight-related planning and  
            investments, including a discussion of the state's strategic  
            goals for freight transportation.  To inform the development  
            of these plans, MAP-21 specifically encourages states to  
            establish freight advisory committees.  State freight plans  
            will be used to inform development of the national freight  
            plan;  

          2)It requires US DOT to establish a national freight network to  








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            assist states in strategically directing resources toward  
            improved movement of freight on highways.   Criteria to be  
            examined in designating the highway routes to be included in  
            the freight network include the following: tonnage or value of  
            commodities carried, truck traffic volume, access to  
            significant ports of entry/exit for international trade,  
            access to energy areas, access to population centers, and  
            multimodal connectivity accessibility (such as rail lines  
            running parallel to highways and waterways that carry bulk  
            cargo).  The national highway network is required to be  
            adopted by July, 2013; and  

          3)It requires the establishment of freight project performance  
            measures.  

          Going beyond federal law, this bill would mandate California to  
          develop a state freight plan as well as mandate the  
          establishment of a freight advisory committee consistent with  
          the federal requirements.  According to the author, this bill  
          will ensure that the state is well-positioned to inform federal  
          policy decision-makers of California's goods movement  
          infrastructure needs.  With a comprehensive freight plan in  
          hand, this will place California at the front of the line for  
          available federal money.  

           Background  :  California is one of the 10 largest economies in  
          the world with a gross state product of more than $1.9 trillion,  
          and our state's goods movement system is the bedrock of the  
          state's economy.  According to an international trade and  
          investment study produced by the California Business,  
          Transportation and Housing (BT&H) Agency, "International trade  
          and investment is a major economic engine for the state of  
          California that broadly benefits businesses, communities,  
          consumers and state government."  

          Although infrastructure needs have been well documented in  
          multiple reports over the last several decades, our state's  
          investment in goods movement has not kept pace with the demands  
          of modern, trade-driven supply chains.  Growing volumes of  
          freight that move along our roads, rails, and waterways are  
          increasingly choked by a lack of adequate capacity.   
          Simultaneously, communities alongside these corridors choke on  
          the resultant emissions.  Without improvements to key freight  
          transportation corridors, our ability to compete in the global  
          marketplace will be hampered.  In order to remain at the highest  








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          competitive level vying for goods from other nations, our goods  
          movement infrastructure must remain at the highest competitive  
          level, using cutting-edge, transformational technologies that  
          are timely, cost-effective, and appropriate.  This is necessary  
          if the state is going to attract and sustain the trade business  
          that will allow us to grow and prosper.  

          California is now faced with the challenge of developing a state  
          freight plan that meets the needs of an aging and congested  
          infrastructure while at the same time complies with federal and  
          state clean air mandates and addresses related public health  
          issues.  Prioritizing the investment needs attributed to these  
          separate demands will require tough choices and complex  
          strategies critical to building and maintaining an efficient,  
          equitable, and sustainable goods movement system for California.  
           

          As a precursor in the development of any plan, the vision,  
          goals, and objectives of the plan need to be clearly  
          established.  Accordingly, the US DOT MAP-21 Interim Guidance  
          document advises that a state freight plan should include a  
          discussion of the state's strategic goals for freight  
          transportation.  Further, the guidance document indicates that  
          the plan must include a description of how the plan will improve  
          the ability of the state to meet the national freight goals  
          listed below:  

          1)Improving the contribution of the freight transportation  
            system to economic efficiency, productivity, and  
            competitiveness;  

          2)Reducing congestion on the freight transportation system;  

          3)Improving the safety, security, and resilience of the freight  
            transportation system;  

          4)Improving the state of good repair of the freight  
            transportation system;  

          5)Using advanced technology, performance management, innovation,  
            competition, and accountability in operating and maintaining  
            the freight transportation system; and,  

          6)Reducing adverse environmental and community impacts of the  
            freight transportation system.








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           Current goods movement planning efforts  :  A number of efforts  
          are already underway at state, regional, and local levels to  
          address goods movement needs in California.  For example, the  
          California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has embarked  
          on the development of the California Freight Mobility Plan.   
          Caltrans has entered into a contract with California State  
          University, Long Beach, to develop a scoping plan for an update  
          to state's 2007 Goods Movement Action Plan (GMAP).  The contract  
          requires the university to recommend a possible approach and  
          timing for developing a vision of goods movement, development  
          and updating of goals and policies, and identification of  
          potential infrastructure improvements.  Also, the contract  
          requires a recommendation on a process to include stakeholder  
          outreach, analysis of key goods movement issues and trends, and  
          development of an action plan.  

          Also as a part of the Caltrans effort, a freight advisory  
          committee has been established to help guide the development of  
          their freight mobility plan.  The initial list includes over 50  
          stakeholders, many in attendance at the hearing today.  

          On a parallel track, the Air Resources Board (ARB) is currently  
          developing their long-term vision for freight transport in  
          California, referred to as the "2050 vision" for freight  
          transport.  ARB intends to identify a vision for freight  
          transport looking to 2050 that will:  

          1)Put the state on a trajectory to help stabilize global  
            climate; 
             
          2)Is environmentally sustainable;  

          3)Ensures continued economic strength and quality of life; and,   


          4)Supports reliable and efficient freight transport.

          Tentatively, ARB expects to have preliminary concepts for the  
          freight strategy in late 2013.  Further implementation steps  
          will be determined by ARB, but the effort is expected to be  
          reflected in the Update to the Scoping Plan and State  
          Implementation Plan revisions.  

          Additionally, another major consideration in the adoption of the  








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          plan's goals are the regional transportation plans adopted by  
          metropolitan planning organizations that ensure compliance with  
          greenhouse gas reduction regional targets as established by ARB,  
          pursuant SB 375 (Steinberg) Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008.   The  
          sustainable communities strategies (SCS) are a new element of  
          the metropolitan planning organizations' regional transportation  
          plans that demonstrate how development patterns and  
          transportation policies and programs can work together to  
          achieve a region's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets  
          from cars and light trucks.  Integrating the SCS plans of the  
          separate regions into the state freight plan would also lend  
          support to the regional agencies in achieving their greenhouse  
          gas emission reductions and environmental sustainability  
          objectives.  With the few regional transportation plans approved  
          by ARB or nearing completion, these will ensure that we are  
          making transportation investments consistent with community  
          wishes along with achieving emission reductions.    

           Author's amendments  :  The author will be amending the bill to  
          reflect the new Transportation Agency as a result of the recent  
          governmental reorganization by the Administration.  

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority
          California State Association of Counties  
          League of California Cities (in concept)  
          Pacific Marine Shipping Association  
          Riverside County Transportation Commission
          South Coast Air Quality Management District (support with  
          amendment to add air quality representative on advisory  
          committee)  
          The California Railroad Industry

           Opposition 
           
          None on file
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Ed Imai / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093 












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