BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       AB 300


                                                                      Page  1





          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          300 (Alejo)


          As Amended  May 28, 2015


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Natural         |8-0   |Williams, Cristina  |                      |
          |Resources       |      |Garcia, Hadley,     |                      |
          |                |      |Harper, Mark Stone, |                      |
          |                |      |McCarty, Rendon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Wood                |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,     |                      |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly,        |                      |
          |                |      |Eggman, Gallagher,  |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,     |                      |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Jones, Quirk,       |                      |
          |                |      |Rendon, Wagner,     |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 








                                                                       AB 300


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          SUMMARY:  Establishes an Algal Bloom Task Force to review the  
          risks and negative impacts of toxic algal blooms and make  
          recommendations on funding, prevention, and long-term mitigation.  
          Specifically, this bill:


          1)Requires the SWRCB, until January 1, 2019, to establish the  
            Algal Bloom Task Force or augment an existing task force  
            comprised of a representative of the following:
             a)   State Department of Public Health (DPH);
             b)   Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW);


             c)   Food and Agriculture;


             d)   State Coastal Conservancy (SCC);


             e)   Other relevant agency representatives.


          2)Requires the Task Force to:
             a)   Assess and prioritize the actions and research necessary  
               to develop measures that prevent or mitigate toxic algal  
               blooms in the waters of the state;
             b)   consider linked impacts of toxic algal blooms;


             c)   Provide funding recommendations from proposals submitted  
               by universities, local governments and nonprofits  
               organizations for applied research, projects, and programs  
               that will contribute to the development of prevention  
               strategies and sustainable mitigation actions to address  
               toxic blooms of cyanotoxins and microcystin pollution in the  
               waters of the state;









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             d)   Review the risks and negative impacts of toxic algal  
               blooms on humans, wildlife, fisheries and aquatic ecosystems  
               and develop recommendations for prevention and long-term  
               mitigation;


             e)   Develop and submit recommendations by January 1, 2017, to  
               the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency that provide  
               guidance on what type of programs or state resources will be  
               required to prevent damaging toxic algal blooms in the waters  
               of the state over time.



          3)Authorizes SCC, DFW, Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), and  
            State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), or any of them, to  
            provide grants, upon appropriation, for applied research,  
            projects, and programs recommended by the Task Force from the  
            State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account, Water  
            Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014  
            (Proposition 1), or from other appropriate funds.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee:


          1)Unknown cost pressures potentially in the millions of dollars to  
            implement the task force recommendations.


          2)Increased administrative costs in the range of $200,000 for  
            SWRCB to convene the task force, conduct research and public  
            outreach, and finalize recommendations (General Fund or special  
            fund).  One-time costs in the $150,000 range to meet the  
            reporting requirements.










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          3)Increased administrative costs for DFW to participate in the  
            task force.


          4)Minor, absorbable costs for DPH, SCC, and CDFA.


          5)Unknown, likely minor, costs for any other agencies included on  
            the task force.


          COMMENTS: 


          1)Harmful Algal Blooms.  Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are a  
            form of bacteria.  These algae are thought to be among the first  
            life forms on Earth.  The majority of freshwater harmful algal  
            blooms (HABs) reported in the United States and worldwide are  
            due to one group of algae, cyanobacteria. HABs have been  
            detected in many water bodies throughout the state. Elevated  
            nutrients in water bodies can contribute to HABs.  Significant  
            sources of nutrient loads include urban runoff, wastewater  
            treatment plants, fertilizer/manure applications, livestock,  
            septic systems, natural background and atmospheric deposition,  
            and groundwater inflow into streams and lakes. DPH and various  
            county health departments have documented cases of dog  
            fatalities throughout the state from HABs.  In addition, HABs  
            have been implicated in the deaths of southern sea otters in  
            central California.  Humans have also experienced illness from  
            exposure.


          2)CyanoHAB Network (CCHAB).  CCHAB, formally known as the  
            statewide Blue Green Algae Public Working Group, has a diverse  
            membership including the SWRCB, regional water quality boards,  
            Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, DFW, DPH, and  
            the Department of Water Resources.  It also includes federal  
            agencies, tribal governments, county agencies, cities,  
            academics, researchers, and utilities.  CCHAB has conducted  








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            investigations, supported research, and funded planning and  
            pilot projects to address HABs. 


            This bill allows the SWRCB to augment this or any other existing  
            task force or network to accomplish the requirements of the  
            bill.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. / (916) 319-2092  FN:  
          0000821