BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 135
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   September 11, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                  SB 135 (Padilla) - As Amended:  September 6, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                             Governmental  
          Organization Vote:                            15 - 0 

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              

           SUMMARY  

          As proposed to be amended, this bill requires the Office of  
          Emergency Services (OES), in collaboration with various  
          entities, to develop a comprehensive statewide earthquake early  
          warning system in California. In addition, the provisions of  
          this bill will be repealed by January 1, 2016, unless OES can  
          identify non-General Fund funding for the system.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)The development of an early warning system could cost up to  
            $100 million (non-GF) over approximately five years.  

          2)On-going workload costs to maintain and oversee the system are  
            unknown but could reach $15 million per year (non-GF).

           COMMENTS  

          1)Purpose  . According to the author, while earthquakes cannot be  
            predicted or prevented, using advanced science and technology  
            can provide an advanced warning and perhaps save lives and  
            mitigate damage.

            The objective of earthquake early warning is to rapidly detect  
            the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground  
            shaking to be expected, and issue a warning before significant  
            ground shaking begins.   The warnings allow people to take  
            cover, pull to the side of the road or exit a building.  

           2)Proposed Amendments  . As currently drafted, this bill prohibits  
            the use of any state funds for the purposes of developing and  








                                                                  SB 135
                                                                  Page  2

            maintaining the early warning system.  The proposed amendments  
            will narrow that prohibition to only include future General  
            Fund commitments and will allow the use of any General Fund  
            that is already budgeted for earthquake detection purposes as  
            of January 1, 2014. 

           3)Earthquake Early Warning Systems  . Early warning system can be  
            used in a variety of ways.  For example, with sufficient  
            warning, trains can be slowed or stopped, airplanes can avoid  
            taking off or landing, bridges can be closed, and businesses  
            and industries can stop production lines and move employees to  
            safe areas. Depending on the epicenter of the earthquake,  
            warnings would likely be about 30 to 45 seconds. 
             
             The California Geological Survey (CGS), within the Department  
            of Conservation, currently operates more than 5,000 seismic  
            instruments that monitor ground movement around the state  
            through the Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (SMIP).   
            This is the largest portion of the broader California  
            Integrated Seismic Network (CISN), which is comprised of 1,900  
            monitoring sites operated in partnership with the U.S.  
            Geological Survey, Caltech, and the UC Berkeley Seismological  
            Lab.  Information from these instruments is used for research  
            and planning purposes, and to produce "Shakemaps," which  
            inform emergency responders where the worst shaking occurred  
            within minutes of an earthquake.  

            The U.S. Geological Survey is currently operating a small  
            warning system pilot program based on this instrumentation  
            network; a report on the program is due within the next year.   
            Additional federal grants have recently been awarded to  
            support the development of a local earthquake early warning  
            system for the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas.

           4)Related Legislation  . In 2009, AB 928 (Blakeslee) required the  
            High-Speed Rail Authority to develop an earthquake early  
            warning system and coordinate development of that system with  
            the Cal-EMA, the Department of Education, and the Public  
            Utilities Commission.  The bill required the earthquake early  
            warning system to be designed to protect the lives of  
            high-speed train passengers and schoolchildren, and critical  
            infrastructure by providing advanced earthquake warning and by  
            enabling preventive measures seconds before an earthquake. 
            AB 928 died without a hearing in the Assembly Governmental  
            Organization Committee. 








                                                                  SB 135
                                                                  Page  3





           Analysis Prepared by  :    Julie Salley-Gray / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081