BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 814
                                                                  Page 1

          Date of Hearing:  August 12, 2013

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
                                Wesley Chesbro, Chair
           SB 814 (Committee on Natural Resources and Water) - As Amended:  
                                    August 5, 2013

           SENATE VOTE  :  34-0
           
          SUBJECT  :  Public resources: administration
           
          SUMMARY  :  Authorizes a cucumber fishing permit holder's estate  
          to transfer the decedent's permit to a qualified person.  Delays  
          implementation of ballast water performance standards for  
          vessels that discharge ballast water in the state.  Makes minor  
          clean-up amendments to various code sections related to public  
          resources management.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Prohibits sea cucumbers from being taken, possessed aboard a  
            boat, or landed by a person for commercial purposes except  
            under a valid sea cucumber permit issued to that person.

          2)Requires the commission to adopt regulations that require a  
            vessel carrying, or capable of carrying, ballast water that  
            operates in the waters of the state to implement performance  
            standards, as specified, for the discharge of ballast water.   
            Requires all vessels with a ballast water capacity of 1,500 to  
            5,000 metric tons to comply with the performance standards by  
            January 1, 2014.  Requires all vessels with a ballast water  
            capacity of less than 1,500 metric tons or a ballast water  
            capacity greater than 5,000 metric tons, to comply with the  
            performance standards by January 1, 2016.  Requires interim  
            ballast water management practices, including mid-ocean  
            ballast water exchanges or retention of ballast water.

           THIS BILL  :

          1)Authorizes a cucumber fishing permit holder's estate to  
            transfer the decedent's permit to a qualified person.  

          2)Requires all vessels with a ballast water capacity of 1,500 to  
            5,000 metric tons to comply with the state's ballast water  
            discharge performance standards by January 1, 2016.  Requires  








                                                                  SB 814
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            all vessels with a ballast water capacity of less than 1,500  
            metric tons or a ballast water capacity greater than 5,000  
            metric tons, to comply with the performance standards by  
            January 1, 2018.

          3)Makes minor clean up amendments to various code sections  
            related to public resources management.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

           COMMENTS  :  This is an omnibus bill authored by the Senate  
          Natural Resources and Water Committee, and makes several  
          noncontroversial changes to update code sections related to  
          public resource management.  The only substantive provisions  
          deal with sea cucumber permits and ballast water discharge  
          standards.

          With regard to sea cucumber permits, while existing law allows a  
          person to transfer his or her permit, the law does not  
          explicitly state that a permit can be transferred by the permit  
          holder's estate after death. This bill expressly authorizes such  
          a transfer.  

          With regard to the state's ballast water discharge standards,  
          the State Lands Commission (Commission), which has statutory  
          authority over the issue, adopted a report on June 21, 2013  
          recommending a delay in the state's ballast water performance  
          standards.  

          According to the Commission's report:

               On paper, vessels have several options available to  
               them to comply with California's performance  
               standards, including: 1) retention of all ballast  
               water on board; 2) use of potable water as a ballast  
               water source; 3) discharge to a shore-based ballast  
               water treatment facility; and 4) treatment of all  
               ballast prior to discharge by a shipboard ballast  
               water treatment system. However, in practice, this  
               report has demonstrated that vessels have very few  
               options available at this time to comply with  
               California's performance standards. While a large  
               proportion (over 80%) of voyages to California waters  
               retain all ballast water on board, a vessel may still  








                                                                  SB 814
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               need to discharge ballast on 20% of its voyages for  
               either operational or safety purposes, and thus will  
               need a method of ensuring that any discharged ballast  
               is in compliance with the standards. Potable water is  
               not an option for many vessels due to cost and the  
               volume of water needed for ballasting purposes. There  
               are currently no shore-based facilities to treat  
               [nonindigenous species] in ballast water in the United  
               States. Shipboard ballast water treatment systems are  
               under development and testing worldwide, however given  
               the limitations of existing data?and the lack of data  
               indicating consistent performance at meeting  
               California's standards in land-based and shipboard  
               testing for the other organism size classes , the  
               Commission concludes that no shipboard ballast water  
               treatment systems are currently available to meet all  
               of California's performance standards for the  
               discharge of ballast water.

               The lack of options available to the shipping industry  
               with which to comply with California's performance  
               standards at this time is a significant obstacle to  
               implementation of the standards. The Commission  
               therefore recommends that the California Legislature  
               amend PRC section 71205.3 to delay implementation of  
               California's performance standards for the discharge  
               of ballast water for all vessel size classes until  
               such time that technologies are determined to be  
               available. 

          It should be noted that the Commission is working with a third  
          party manager to conduct a study to assess the feasibility of  
          shore-based treatment in California.  According to the  
          Commission, this study, along with additional research on  
          shipboard ballast water treatment system performance and  
          availability, will help direct the implementation of  
          California's performance standards into the future.



           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          State Lands Commission Staff








                                                                  SB 814
                                                                  Page 4

           
            Opposition 
           
          None on file


           Analysis Prepared by  :  Mario DeBernardo / NAT. RES. / (916)  
          319-2092