Amended in Senate April 2, 2013

Senate BillNo. 135

Introduced by Senator Padilla

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(Coauthors: Senators Hill, Lieu, and Liu)

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(Coauthors: Assembly Members Blumenfield, Gordon, Mullin, and Skinner)

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January 28, 2013

An act to add Section 8587.8 to the Government Code, relating to earthquake safety.


SB 135, as amended, Padilla. Earthquake early warning system.

There is in state government, pursuant to the Governor’s Reorganization Plan No. 2, operative July 1, 2013, the Office of Emergency Services. Existing law requires the office to develop and distribute an educational pamphlet for use by kindergarten, any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and community college personnel to identify and mitigate the risks posed by nonstructural earthquake hazards.

This bill would require the office, in collaboration with various entities, including the United States Geological Survey, to develop a comprehensive statewide earthquake early warning system in California.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1


The Legislature finds and declares the following:

2(a) According to the United States Geological Survey, California
3is one of the most seismically active states, second only to Alaska.

P2    1(b) California has experienced dozens of disastrous earthquakes,
2which have caused loss of life, injury, and economic loss. Some
3of the most significant earthquakes in California’s history include:

4(1) The 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which, at a magnitude
5of 7.8, resulted in an estimated 3,000 deaths and over $500 million
6in property losses.

7(2) The 1971 San Fernando earthquake, which, at a magnitude
8of 6.7, resulted in at least 65 deaths and caused property damage
9of over $500 million.

10(3) The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which, at a magnitude
11of 6.9,begin delete rocked the bay area andend delete caused 63 fatalities and over $6
12billion in property damage.

13(4) The 1994 Northridge earthquake, which, at a magnitude of
146.7, claimed the lives of 60 people and caused estimated property
15damage of between $13 and $32 billion.

16(c) About 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes and over 80
17percent of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the
18Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. The
19Pacific Ring of Fire includes the very active San Andreas Fault
20Zone in California.

21(d) The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast
22(UCERF) released in 2008 predicted a 99.7 percent likelihood of
23a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in California in the next 30

25(e) A 2013 study published by the Caltech and the Japan Agency
26for Marine-Earth Science and Technology discovered that a
27statewide California earthquake involving both the Los Angeles
28and San Francisco metropolitan areas may be possible.

29(f) Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Turkey, Romania, Italy, and China
30either have or are working on earthquake early warning systems
31that are capable of saving lives and helping to mitigate loss.

32(g) The Office of Emergency Services, Caltech, California
33Geological Survey, University of California at Berkeley, United
34States Geological Survey, and others have been conducting
35earthquake early warning research and development in California.
36They operate the California Integrated Seismic Network, which
37has a demonstration earthquake early warning capability.

38(h) By building upon the California Integrated Seismic Network
39and processing data from an array of sensors throughout the state,
40a fully developed earthquake early warning system would
P3    1effectively detect some strength and progression of earthquakes
2and alert the public within seconds, sometimes up to 60 seconds,
3before potentially damaging ground shaking is felt.

4(i) An earthquake early warning system should disseminate
5earthquake information in support of public safety, emergency
6response, and loss mitigation.


SEC. 2.  

Section 8587.8 is added to the Government Code, to



The Office of Emergency Services, in collaboration
10with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the California
11Geological Survey, the University of California Berkeley, the
12United States Geological Survey, and others, shall develop a
13comprehensive statewide earthquake early warning system in