BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
                              Senator Isadore Hall, III
                                        Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:           AB 361           Hearing Date:    6/29/2015
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          |Author:    |Achadjian                                            |
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          |Version:   |5/28/2015    Amended                                 |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Felipe Lopez                                         |
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          SUBJECT: California Emergency Services Act: nuclear powerplants


            DIGEST:    This bill extends the sunset date for the Nuclear  
          Planning Assessment Special Account (NPASA) from July 1, 2019,  
          to August 26, 2025, to continue funding emergency service  
          programs and planning activities for the Diablo Canyon Power  
          Plant in San Luis Obispo County.

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Authorizes, under the California Emergency Services Act  
            (CESA), local government entities to create disaster councils  
            by ordinance and in turn develop disaster plans specific to  
            their jurisdictions.

          2)Requires, under the Radiation Protection Act of 1999 (RPA),  
            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 the Office of Emergency  
            Services (OES) responsible for the coordination and  
            integration of all emergency planning programs and response  
            plans created pursuant to the RPA.

          3)Requires OES to coordinate the activities of all state  
            agencies in preparing and implementing the state nuclear power  







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            plant emergency response plan and to perform other related  
            duties.

          4)Prescribes, under CESA, a method for funding state and local  
            costs for carrying out these activities 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. 

          5)Defines an "electrical corporation" as every corporation or  
            person owning, controlling, operating, or managing any  
            electrical plant for compensation within this state, except  
            where electricity is generated on or distributed by the  
            producer through private property solely for its own use or  
            the use of its tenants and not for sale or transmission to  
            others.

          6)Grants the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with the  
            regulatory authority over public utilities. 

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

          This bill:

          1)Extends the sunset date for the NPASA from July 1, 2019, to  
            August 26, 2025, to continue funding emergency service  
            programs and planning activities for the Diablo Canyon Power  
            Plant in San Luis Obispo County.

          2)Provides that State and local costs to carry out activities  
            pursuant to this bill and the RPA 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.

          3)Requires the PUC to develop and transmit to OES an equitable  
            method of assessing a utility operating a powerplant for its  
            reasonable share of state agency costs.

          4)Specifies that each local government involved shall submit a  
            statement of its costs, as required, to OES.

          5)Specifies that upon notification by OES, from time to time, of  
            the amount of its share of the actual or anticipated state and  








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            local agency costs, a utility shall pay this amount to the  
            State Controller for deposit in the NPASA, which is continued  
            in existence, for allocation by the State Controller, upon  
            appropriation by the Legislature, to carry out activities  
            pursuant to this bill and the RPA.

          6)Specifies that the State Controller shall pay from the NPASA  
            the state and local costs relative to carrying out the  
            provisions of the bill and the RPA.

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

          8)Specifies 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 RPA, shall not exceed  
            the lesser of the actual costs or the maximum funding levels  
            established under the provisions of this bill.

          9)Specifies that of the annual amount of two million forty-seven  
            thousand dollars ($2,047,000) for the 2009-10 fiscal year, the  
            sum of one million ninety-four thousand dollars ($1,094,000)  
            shall be for support of OES for activities pursuant to this  
            bill and the RPA, and the sum of nine hundred fifty-three  
            thousand dollars ($953,000) shall be for support of the State  
            Department of Public Health for activities pursuant to this  
            bill and the RPA. 

            10) Specifies 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 bill, in  
              support of activities pursuant to this bill and the RPA.   
              The maximum annual amount available for disbursement for  
              local costs shall, for the fiscal year beginning July 1,  
              2009, be one million seven hundred thirty-two thousand  
              dollars ($1,732,000) for the Diablo Canyon site.

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








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            12) Provides that the amounts available for disbursement for  
              state and local costs 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) Specified that the amounts available for disbursement for  
              state and local costs as specified shall be cumulative  
              biennially.  Any unexpected 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 when this bill becomes 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. 

          Background

          Purpose of the bill.  According to the author, the Diablo Canyon  
          power plant pays into the NPASA under the OES.  They are  
          currently scheduled to stop paying into the account on July 1,  
          2019, which is before their current license expires on August  
          26, 2025.  Therefore, the author argues, "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."

          The author further argues that, "if the plant were 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."

          Nuclear Power Plant Regulation.  In 1979, following the accident  
          at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, the  
          California State Legislature mandated that OES, together with  
          the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and affected  
          counties, investigate the consequences of a serious nuclear  








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          power plant accident.  Based on site-specific studies in 1980,  
          Emergency 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.

          Emergency Response and Recovery.  In the event of an emergency  
          at one of California's nuclear power plants, 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.  The CDPH would be responsible for  
          providing radiological assessments during all phases of such  
          emergencies and will be the technical lead during "ingestion  
          pathway" and "recovery" phases of an emergency. 

          Prior/Related Legislation
          
          AB 292 (Blakeslee, Chapter 492, Statutes of 2007) extended the  
          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.  The  
          bill also revised the funding levels payable from the account  
          beginning fiscal year 2009-10 and 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) specified  
          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  
          decision-making process.  The bill also modified the method for  
          providing funding to those state agencies responsible with  
          implementing various aspects of the NPASA.  









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          FISCAL EFFECT:                 Appropriation:  No    Fiscal  
          Com.:             Yes          Local:          No


            SUPPORT:  

          Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility (Source)
          County of San Luis Obispo
          County of Santa Barbara
          Mothers for Peace
          Pacific Gas and Electric Company
          Physicians for Social Responsibility - Los Angeles
          San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace Action
          Sierra Club, Santa Lucia Chapter
          7 individuals

          OPPOSITION:

          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:    According to the Alliance for Nuclear  
          Responsibility (A4NR), this bill "will ensure the current  
          structure for maintaining and funding the San Luis Obispo  
          County's Office of Emergency Services (SLO OES) through all of  
          2014.  Prior to this bill being introduced, the funding  
          mechanism for SLO OES, which provides the vital role of  
          protecting the county and state in the event of an incident at  
          the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, would have been allowed  
          to 'sunset' five years before the plant's current operating  
          license expires.  Since the SLO OES' budget is 90% dependent on  
          its funding because of the presence of Diablo Canyon, the  
          shortfall would have left the county with inadequate resources  
          to serve this vital role."  The A4NR further argues that, "One  
          of the tragic lessons from the Fukushima disaster highlighted  
          the need for of a well prepared and coordinated emergency  
          response effort.  While we all hope such an incident will never  
          occur on our beloved central coast, this legislation will make  
          sure our local first responders are fully funded and prepared  
          for any eventuality."
          
          DUAL REFERRAL:  Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications  
          Committee
          
          









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