AB 300, as amended, Alejo. Safe Water and Wildlife Protection Act of 2015.
Existing law establishes the State Coastal Conservancy
begin delete,end delete and prescribes the membership begin delete,end delete and functions and duties of the conservancy with respect to preservation of coastal resources in the state.
This bill would enact the Safe Water and Wildlife Protection Act of 2015, which would require the conservancy to establish and coordinate the Algal Bloom Task Force, in consultation with the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, and would prescribe the composition and functions and duties of the task force. The bill would require the task force to review the risks and negative impacts of toxic blooms and microcystin pollution and to submit a summary of its findings and recommendations to the secretary by January 1, 2017. The act would authorize the conservancy, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and the State Water Resources Control Board to enter into contracts and provide grants from specified bond funds available under the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 for applied research, projects, and programs, recommended by the task force, aimed at preventing or sustainably mitigating toxic blooms of cyanotoxins and microcystin pollution in the waters of the state.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the
3(a) Toxic blooms of cyanobacteria in the waters of the state,
4including, but not limited to, coastal lakes, estuaries, rivers and
5streams, wetlands, and inland lakes and reservoirs, represent a
6threat to human health, endangered wildlife, and
8(b) Cyanobacteria are widespread bacteria that are capable of
9forming toxic blooms and super-blooms in the waters of the state.
10(c) Degradation of watersheds, nutrient
loading, increased water
11diversions, and climate change have been linked to the global
12expansion of cyanobacterial blooms, with high toxin production
13noted regularly in lakes, rivers, and other waters of the state.
14(d) The state’s waters are especially prone to toxic
15cyanobacterial blooms due to our warm climate, numerous water
16diversions, and stressed waterways.
17(e) Cyanobacteria produce
begin delete toxic microcystins and other toxins. are also present in
18Due to their high toxicity, microcystins are a regulated
19pollutantunder federal law. Other cyanobacterial toxins, such as
24California’s waters, but, at present, little is known about
begin delete these
begin deleteMicrocystin and other cyanotoxins end deleteare
27poisonous to humans, pets, livestock, birds, and other wildlife via
28ingestion, inhalation, or skin exposure. A single dose of microcystin
29can cause prolonged toxicity by cycling repeatedly between the
30liver and intestines.
P3 1(g) Blooms of microcystins and other toxic cyanobacteria are
2occurring in waters throughout California, and are threatening our
3water supply and health. Areas with recurrent and worsening
begin delete microcystinend delete pollution include the Klamath and
5Sacramento Rivers, the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers (from
6the Sacramento Delta to San Francisco Bay), and Clear Lake. Pinto
7Lake, Copco Lake, Iron Gate Reservoir, and three segments of the
8Klamath River have been listed as impaired due to cyanobacteria.
9Bird deaths attributed to microcystins have also been reported from
10the Salton Sea.
11(h) The Pinto Lake watershed is being evaluated for total
12maximum daily load (TMDL) regulation for microcystin,
begin delete and is and
13recognized as a state and national cyanobacteria “hotspot,”end delete
14was considered for remediation as an Environmental Protection
15Agency “superfund” site.
16(i) California’s southern sea otters, a state and federally listed
17threatened species, have died from microcystin poisoning. The
18source of sea otter exposure appears to be
19microcystin-contaminated freshwater runoff
begin delete or mussels, or both, .
20or clams or crabs that concentrate microcystin after being exposedto
21contaminated freshwater runoffend delete
23(j) Sea otters and humans eat some of the same marine foods
24that can concentrate microcystin in body tissues; hence, food safety
begin delete concern for public healthend delete. Freshwater
26and marine fish and shellfish have not been routinely tested for
27cyanotoxins in California and limited diagnostic testing is available.
begin delete “One Health” approach, that considers human, animal,
29and environmental health, is appropriate to assess impacts and
30develop comprehensive strategies to prevent microcystin pollution
31 in the waters of the state. This represents a multidisciplinary
32approach that considers linkages between human, animal, and
33environmental health.end delete
38(l) The state needs a coordinated multiagency effort to develop
39actions and projects that will prevent or mitigate toxic blooms and
begin delete toxinend delete pollution.
Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 31420) is added
2to Division 21 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the
8Safe Water and Wildlife Protection Act of 2015.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have
10the following meanings:
11(a) “One-health approach” means a method of assessment that
12considers the linked impacts of toxic algal blooms on humans,
13animals, the ecosystem, and water quality.
14(b) “Task Force” means the Algal Bloom Task Force created
15pursuant to Section 31422.
16(c) “Waters of the state” means any surface
begin delete waterend delete in the
17state including, but not limited to, coastal lakes, lagoons and
18estuaries, rivers, streams, inland lakes and reservoirs, and wetlands.
The conservancy shall establish and coordinate the
20Algal Bloom Task Force, comprised of a representative of each
21of the State Department of Public Health, the Department of Fish
22and Wildlife, the State Water Resources Control Board, and other
23relevant agency representatives, to be determined by the executive
24officer of the conservancy in consultation with the Secretary of
25the Natural Resources Agency.
The functions and duties of the task force include all
27of the following:
28(a) Assess and prioritize the actions and research necessary to
29develop measures that prevent or sustainably mitigate toxic algal
30blooms in the waters of the state. The assessment shall apply a
31one-health approach that considers the linked impacts of toxic
32algal blooms and cyanotoxins on human and animal health, as well
33as in the context of ecosystem health and water quality.
34(b) Solicit and review proposals from universities, local
35governments, and nonprofit
36organizations for applied research, projects, and programs that
begin delete contributeend delete
38 to development of strategies or implementation
39of activities that prevent or sustainably mitigate toxic blooms of
40cyanotoxins and microcystin pollution in the waters of the state.
4(c) Provide funding recommendations to the executive officer
5of the conservancy and to the Department of Fish and Wildlife,
6the Wildlife Conservation Board, and the State Water Resources
7Control Board for those proposals for applied research, projects,
8and programs, described in subdivision (b), that the task force
9determines will contribute to the development of prevention
10strategies and sustainable mitigation actions to address toxic
11blooms of cyanotoxins and microcystin pollution in waters of the
13(d) Review the risks and negative impacts of toxic
begin delete algaeend delete
14 blooms and microcystin pollution on humans, wildlife, fisheries,
15 and aquatic ecosystems, and develop
16recommendations for prevention and long-term mitigation. The
17task force shall submit a summary of its findings based on the
18review, including its recommendations to the Secretary of the
19Natural Resources Agency on or before January 1, 2017. The
20recommendations shall provide guidance on what type of programs
21or state resources will be required to prevent damaging toxic algal
22blooms and microcystin pollution in the waters of the state over
24(e) Organize meetings and workshops of experts and
25stakeholders as needed to implement this section.
The conservancy, the Department of Fish and Wildlife,
27the Wildlife Conservation Board, and the State Water Resources
28Control Board, or any of them, may enter into contracts and provide
29grants from funds available pursuant to Section 79730 of the Water
30Code for applied research, projects, and programs recommended
31by the task force pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 31423.