BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





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          |                                                                 |
          |         SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES AND WATER         |
          |                   Senator Fran Pavley, Chair                    |
          |                    2013-2014 Regular Session                    |
          |                                                                 |
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          BILL NO: SB 122                    HEARING DATE:  April 9, 2013
          AUTHOR: Lieu                       URGENCY: No  
          VERSION: As introduced             CONSULTANT: Leonardo Scherer  
          Alves  
          DUAL REFERRAL: No                  FISCAL: Yes  
          SUBJECT: Vessels: abandonment: abatement.
          
          BACKGROUND AND EXISTING LAW
          California has the second largest number of state boat  
          registrations just after Florida. Abandonment of vessels is a  
          major concern in California. Vessel abandonment causes  
          environmental harm due to toxic chemical leakage into the  
          waterways and it is a hazard to navigation. 

          Existing law makes it an infraction punishable by a maximum fine  
          of $3,000 and a minimum $1000 fine for a person who abandons a  
          vessel upon a public waterway or public or private property  
          without the express or implied consent of the owner or person in  
          lawful possession or control of the property. Existing law  
          authorizes a public agency to sell or otherwise dispose of  
          certain vessels that are unseaworthy, or abandoned property  
          removed from a navigable waterway. 

          The current voluntary turn-in program allows boat owners to  
          dispose of, at no cost, unwanted dilapidated vessels. 

          The program remains in effect until January 1, 2014.

          PROPOSED LAW
          This bill deletes the sunset date on the program in order to  
          continue the voluntary turn-in program, where the owner of a  
          vessel can voluntarily turn it into a local agency rather than  
          abandoning the boat. 

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT
          According to the Department of Boating and Waterways (which, in  
          July, will become a division at the Department of State Parks  
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          and Recreation), the program has saved the state at least 50% of  
          the cost of dismantling abandoned vessels. 

          Recent statistics show that the program saves the state money.  
          The cost of disposing of a surrendered vessel compared to an  
          abandoned vessel is less, requiring fewer resources.
          The benefit of creating a vessel turn-in program is to avert the  
          environmental degradation that can occur when oil, fuel and  
          other chemicals, and raw sewage leak from a sunken or abandoned  
          vessel. 

          The program has been quite successful and is still gaining  
          popularity among local agencies; last year the requested funding  
          far exceeded the available budget.

          Participating agencies have indicated that many of the vessels  
          received under the program would have likely been abandoned if  
          this program wasn't available.  

          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION
          None received

          COMMENTS 
           No "no" votes:  This bill increases the minimum fine and removes  
          the sunset of AB 166 (Lieu 2009) a bill that received no "no"  
          votes in either house. It extends a successful program that has  
          already removed 162 dilapidated boats since July 2010.

          SUPPORT
          Los Angeles County Sheriff
          Contra Costa Sheriff
          Port San Luis Harbor District
          Student Policy Alliance
          City of Santa Barbara 
          Recreational Boaters of California
          California State Sheriffs' Association - if amended

          OPPOSITION
          None received








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