BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing: April 22, 2015  


                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION


                                  Adam Gray, Chair


          AB 361  
          (Achadjian) - As Amended March 26, 2015


          SUBJECT:  California Emergency Services Act:  nuclear  
          powerplants


          SUMMARY:  Extends, until July 1, 2024, the method for funding  
          state and local costs for emergency service activities  
          associated with a nuclear powerplant, with respect to a utility  
          operating a nuclear powerplant with a generating capacity of 50  
          megawatts or more, thereby extending an amount, as specified,  
          available for disbursement for local costs for the Diablo Canyon  
          site.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)  States "Office" means the Office of Emergency Services (Cal  
          OES).





          2)  States "Previous fiscal year" means the fiscal year  
          immediately prior to the current fiscal year.












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          3)  States "Utility" means an "electrical corporation" as  
          defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code.





          4)  Provides that State and local costs to carry out activities  
          pursuant to this bill and the Radiation Protection Act of 1999  
          that are not reimbursed by federal funds shall be borne by a  
          utility operating a nuclear powerplant with a generating  
          capacity of 50 megawatts or more.





          5)  States that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) shall  
          develop and transmit to the office an equitable method of  
          assessing a utility operating a powerplant for its reasonable  
          share of state agency costs, as specified.





          6)  States that each local government involved shall submit a  
          statement of its costs, as required, to Cal OES.





          7)  States that upon notification by Cal OES, from time to time,  
          of the amount of its share of the actual or anticipated state  
          and local agency costs, a utility shall pay this amount to the  
          Controller for deposit in the Nuclear Planning Assessment  
          Special Account (NPASA), which is continued in existence, for  








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          allocation by the Controller, upon appropriation by the  
          Legislature, to carry out activities pursuant to this bill and  
          Radiation Protection Act of 1999.





          8)  Provides upon appropriation by the Legislature, the  
          Controller may disburse up to 80 percent of a fiscal year  
          allocation from the NPASA, in advance, for anticipated local  
          expenses, as defined in law.  Cal OES shall review program  
          expenditures related to the balance of funds in the account and  
          the Controller shall pay the portion, or the entire balance, of  
          the account, based upon those approved expenditures.





          9)  Provides that the total annual disbursement of state costs  
          from a utility operating a nuclear powerplant within the state  
          for activities pursuant to this bill and the Radiation  
          Protection Act (RPA) of 1999, shall not exceed the lesser of the  
          actual costs or the maximum funding levels, as defined in  
          current law.





          10)  Provides that the total annual disbursement for each fiscal  
          year, commencing July 1, 2009, of local costs from a utility  
          shall not exceed the lesser of the actual costs or the maximum  
          funding levels established in this section, in support of  
          activities pursuant to this bill and RPA.   The maximum annual  
          amount available for disbursement for local costs, as defined,  
          shall, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009, be one  
          million seven hundred thirty-two thousand dollars ($1,732,000)  








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          for the Diablo Canyon site.





          11)  States that the amounts paid by a utility under this bill  
          shall be allowed for ratemaking purposes by the PUC.





          12)  Provides that the amounts available for disbursement for  
          state and local costs as specified in this bill shall be  
          adjusted and compounded each fiscal year by the larger of the  
          percentage change in the prevailing wage for San Luis Obispo  
          County employees, not to exceed 5 percent, or the percentage  
          increase in the California Consumer Price Index from the  
          previous fiscal year.





          13)  States that until July 1, 2024, the amounts available for  
          disbursement for state and local costs as specified in this bill  
          shall be cumulative biennially. Any unexpended funds from a year  
          shall be carried over for one year. The funds carried over from  
          the previous year may be expended when the current year's  
          funding cap is exceeded.





          14)  Provides that this bill shall become operative on July 1,  
          2019 and shall become inoperative on July 1, 2024, and, as of  
          January 1, 2025, is repealed.  When this bill becomes  








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          inoperative, any amounts remaining in the special account shall  
          be refunded to a utility contributing to it, to be credited to  
          the utility's ratepayers.





          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)  Grants the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with  
          the regulatory authority over public utilities, including  
          electrical corporations.





          2)  Requires the development and maintenance of a nuclear  
          powerplant emergency response program by state and local  
          governments based on federal and state criteria.


          3)  The California Emergency Services Act (Act) authorizes local  
          government entities to create disaster councils by ordinance and  
          in turn develop disaster plans specific to their jurisdictions. 


          4)  The RPA requires local governments to develop and maintain  
          radiological emergency preparedness and response plans to  
          safeguard the public in the emergency planning zone around a  
          nuclear powerplant and generally makes Cal OES responsible for  
          the coordination and integration of all emergency planning  
          programs and response plans created pursuant to the RPA. 


          5)  Provides under the Act, until July 1, 2019, a method for  
          funding state and local costs for carrying out these activities  








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          that are not reimbursed by federal funds, with the costs borne  
          by utilities operating nuclear powerplants with a generating  
          capacity of 50 megawatts or more.


          6)  Requires PUC to equitably allocate the non-reimbursed state  
          costs associated with the preparation and implementation of the  
          NPASA between the utilities.  Costs for state administration and  
          reimbursements to local governments are specified, capped, and  
          paid for by utility customers.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  


           Purpose of the bill  :  According to the author, existing law  
          requires utility companies operating a nuclear powerplant to pay  
          for anticipated state and local agency costs to the State  
          Controller, into what is called the Nuclear Planning Assessment  
          Special Account (NPASA).  Utility companies pay the actual  
          expenses up to the maximum allowed under an established funding  
          cap.  The utilities do not pay for these costs directly; rather  
          they are authorized by the PUC to pass these costs on to  
          consumers as a function of their utility rates.  The expenditure  
          of these funds is authorized, upon appropriation by the  
          Legislature, on an annual basis to address planning and response  
          issues, and administered by Cal OES.  The inoperative date of  
          these provisions ends on July 1, 2019.


          Currently, the Diablo Canyon power plant pays into the NPASA but  
          is scheduled to cease payments into the account on July 1, 2019,  
          which is before their current license expires in July 1, 2024.   
          Therefore, the nuclear power plant could still be in operation  
          without having to contribute to the costs of emergency planning  
          or response should an emergency occur.








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          The author states, "If the power plant was to continue in  
          operation without funding, then emergency preparedness and  
          response will be jeopardized.  Continuing this account is vital  
          to assure the maintenance of the State's nuclear emergency  
          programs, which has been a model program established to  
          safeguard public health and safety in California."





          The author maintains this bill will assist local governments  
          with the costs associated with emergency planning and response  
          in areas surrounding the Diablo Canyon site by extending the  
          "sunset date" of the NPASA from July 1, 2019 to December 31,  
          2025.  This extension will ensure that these critical programs  
          are funded to match the duration of the nuclear power plant's  
          license and are vital to our local communities to guarantee that  
          they have the resources necessary to plan and react to any  
          emergency.


           Background  :





          In 1979, following the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear  
          power plant in Pennsylvania, the California State Legislature  
          mandated that the Cal OES, together with the California  
          Department of Public Health (CDPH) and affected counties,  
          investigate the consequences of a serious nuclear power plant  
          accident.  Based on site-specific studies in 1980, Emergency  








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          Planning Zones (EPZ) around the plant sites were established in  
          detail and integrated plans were developed.  Legislation  
          mandating the Nuclear Power Plant Program (NPPA) has been  
          continuous since 1979, enacted as Government Code and Health and  
          Safety Code sections, called the Radiation Protection Act.





          Local governments are also required to develop and maintain  
          radiological emergency preparedness and response plans to  
          safeguard the public in the EPZ around a nuclear power plant and  
          to take specified actions within that zone.  Utilities also have  
          a role to play, including developing and maintaining  
          radiological emergency preparedness and response plans in  
          coordination with state and local governments and to coordinate  
          with state and local governments in maintaining nuclear power  
          plant education information.





           Nuclear Power Plant Program  : 


          The Nuclear Power Plant Program (NPPP) covers emergency planning  
          issues related to the States one operating nuclear power plant   
          Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) and one decommissioning nuclear  
          power plant - San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).   
          The NPPP also continues coordination with the two retired  
          nuclear power plants - Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant and  
          Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station (RSNGS). The NPPP works  
          with federal, state, local and utility officials in emergency  
          planning, training and exercises to test emergency readiness.  











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           Emergency Response and Recovery  : 


          In the event of an emergency at one of Californias nuclear power  
          plants, Cal OES is the lead agency to mobilize state resources  
          and to request and coordinate federal resources to mitigate the  
          effects of radiation released into the atmosphere.  CDPH will  
          provide radiological assessments during all phases of such  
          emergencies and will be the technical lead during "ingestion  
          pathway" and "recovery" phases of an emergency. 



           Emergency Plans  :  Federal regulations require nuclear power  
          plants, states and surrounding counties have a federally tested  
          and approved emergency response plan. The Federal Emergency  
          Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for ensuring adherence  
          to emergency planning and exercise requirements by emergency  
          response organizations outside of the power plant boundaries,  
          which is referred to as "offsite."  Radiation releases are  
          monitored and controlled by strict Environmental Protection  
          Agency (EPA) guidelines to keep the public and emergency  
          responders safe.





           Emergency Notification  :  In the event of a nuclear power plant  
          (NPP) incident, the power plant (utility company) immediately  
          notifies the California State Warning Center (CSWC) and counties  
          in the Plume Exposure Pathway Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ).   
          The CSWC continues the notification process to other agencies  
          according to procedures for NPP incidents. The power plant  
          provides the emergency classification level and plant  
          information to the CSWC for updates along the notification  
          chain. 










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           Emergency Classification Levels (ECL)  :  Federal guidelines  
          classify emergency conditions at U.S. nuclear power plants into  
          four levels. They are listed below in order from the least to  
          the most serious: Notification of Unusual Event, Alert, Site  
          Area Emergency and General Emergency.





           Emergency Planning Zones  :  The EPZ is the area surrounding a  
          nuclear power plant for which plans/procedures exist to ensure  
          that prompt and effective actions occur to protect the health  
          and safety of the public in case of an incident. 





           Double referral  : This bill has been double referred and should  
          it pass will be sent to the Assembly Committee on Utilities and  
          Commerce.





           Prior legislation  : AB 2791 (AB 2791 (Governmental Organization  
          Committee), Chapter 618, Statutes of 2010.  Made various  
          statutory and technical changes to reflect the merger of the  
          former Office of Emergency Services and the former Office of  
          Homeland Security into the California Emergency Management  
          Agency in January 1, 2009.   


          AB 292 (Blakeslee), Chapter 492, Statutes of 2007.  Extended the  








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          sunset date on the NPASA from July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2019 and  
          the repeals date from January 1, 2010 to January 1, 2020.   
          Revises the funding levels payable from the account beginning  
          fiscal year 2009-10.  Required that any money remaining in the  
          account when it becomes inoperative be returned to the  
          contributing utility for rebates to the ratepayers.





          SB 2141 (O'Connell), Chapter 543, Statutes of 1998.  Stipulated  
          that OES shall continue to have prime responsibility for  
          coordinating and integrating all levels of emergency planning  
          and response within a "joint" state and local government  
          decisionmaking process.  Modified the method for providing  
          funding to those state agencies responsible with implementing  
          various aspects of the NPASA.  Authorized the State Controller,  
          upon appropriation by the Legislature, to advance up to 80% of a  
          fiscal year allocation from the Account to the agencies for  
          anticipated local costs.  Extended, by 10 years, the current  
          sunset (July 1, 1999). 





          SB 876 (Hart), Chapter 759, Statutes of 1993.  Updated the  
          state's NPERP by revising and reallocating responsibilities  
          between the Office of Emergency Response, Department of Health  
          Services, utilities, local jurisdictions, and other agencies.   
          The bill extended the sunset on the NPASA until 7/1/99 and  
          authorizes payment from the account of specific sums of money  
          over the next five years to state and local agencies for the  
          purposes of implementing the plan.  Revenues to the account are  
          derived from fees imposed on parties owning and operating  
          nuclear powerplants.










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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          Physicians for Social Responsibility - Los Angeles


          Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Eric Johnson / G.O. / (916) 319-2531



















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