California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 501


Introduced by Assembly Member Levine

February 23, 2015


An act to add Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 85285) to Part 3 of Division 35 of the Water Code, relating to resources.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 501, as introduced, Levine. Resources: Delta research.

Existing law, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009, requires the Delta Stewardship Council to develop, adopt, and commence implementation of a comprehensive management plan for the Delta, meeting specified requirements. The act requires the Delta Independent Science Board to develop a scientific program relating to the management of the Delta.

This bill would require a person conducting Delta research, as defined, whose research is funded, in whole or in part, by the state, to take specified actions with regard to the sharing of the primary data, samples, physical collections, and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of that research. The bill would authorize the Delta Independent Science Board to adopt guidelines to provide adjustments to, and, where essential, exceptions from, these requirements and would exempt the adoption of these guidelines from the procedural requirements for the adoption of regulations. The bill would require a state agency that funds or participates in Delta research to implement policies to disseminate and share Delta research results, in a specified manner.

The bill would make a researcher ineligible for state funding if the researcher does not provide the information required by the bill within 6 months of the date of the final publication or public dissemination of the research findings, until the researcher complies with the bill’s requirements.

The bill would provide that all legal rights to tangible property collected or created during Delta research remain with the researcher, as determined by the policies of the organization providing the grant, contract, or other agreement, except as specified, but would require a researcher to make this tangible property appropriately available to other researchers.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 85285) is
2added to Part 3 of Division 35 of the Water Code, to read:

3 

4Chapter  6. Dissemination and Sharing of State-Funded
5Delta Research Data
6

 

7

85285.  

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
8shall apply:

9(a) “Delta research” means scientific inquiry that meets one or
10both of the following conditions:

11(1) The San Francisco Bay or the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
12is, in whole or in part, the locus of the research.

13(2) The research addresses environmental factors relevant to
14this division, including, but not limited to, hydrodynamics, salinity,
15geomorphology, studies related to aquatic species, and water
16quality, including mercury contamination, in the Sacramento River,
17the San Joaquin River, or any tributary, including any
18impoundment on any tributary, of the Sacramento or San Joaquin
19Rivers.

20(b) “Researcher” means a person who conducts Delta research
21and whose research is funded, in whole or in part, by the state,
22including, but not limited to, by a research grant.

23(c) “Tangible property” means personal property other than
24equipment and intellectual property.

25

85285.5.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

P3    1(a) The state normally allows researchers to retain principal
2legal rights to intellectual property developed through state-funded
3research to provide incentives for development and dissemination
4of inventions, software, and publications that can enhance their
5usefulness, accessibility, and upkeep.

6(b) These incentives do not, however, reduce the responsibility
7that investigators and organizations have, as members of the
8scientific and engineering community, to make results, data, and
9collections available to other researchers.

10(c) Some state-funded Delta research supports the collection or
11creation of tangible property, such as insects, marine life, drilling
12core samples, and genetically altered microorganisms.

13

85286.  

Except as provided in Section 85286.5, a researcher
14shall do all of the following:

15(a) Provide the Delta Science Program with access to all primary
16data created for conducting Delta research.

17(b) Promptly prepare and submit for publication, with authorship
18that accurately reflects the contributions of those involved, all
19significant findings from Delta research.

20(c) Permit and encourage the publication of Delta research by
21those actually performing Delta research, unless a state funding
22recipient intends to publish or disseminate those findings by itself.

23(d) Share with other researchers, at no more than incremental
24cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples,
25physical collections, and other supporting materials created or
26gathered in the course of conducting Delta research.

27(e) Encourage and facilitate the sharing of the primary data,
28samples, physical collections, and other supporting materials
29created or gathered in the course of conducting Delta research.

30(f) Release privileged or confidential information only in a form
31that protects the privacy of individuals and subjects involved.

32

85286.5.  

The Delta Independent Science Board established
33pursuant to Section 85280 may adopt guidelines to provide
34adjustments to, and, where essential, exceptions from, the
35requirements of this chapter, for the purposes of safeguarding the
36rights of individuals and subjects, or the validity of the results, and
37the integrity of collections, or accommodating legitimate research
38interests. The guidelines adopted pursuant to this section are not
39regulations for purposes of, and shall not be subject to, Chapter
P4    13.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of
2Title 2 of the Government Code.

3

85287.  

A state agency that funds or participates in Delta
4research shall implement policies to disseminate and share Delta
5research results, in ways appropriate to field and circumstances,
6including through the proposal review process, conducting
7negotiations for, and imposing conditions upon, awards, providing
8appropriate support and incentives for data cleanup, documentation,
9dissemination, and storage, and by taking other similar actions.

10

85287.5.  

A researcher that does not provide the information
11in the manner required by this chapter within six months of the
12date of the final publication or public dissemination of the findings
13of the Delta research results is not eligible for state funding until
14the researcher complies with this chapter.

15

85288.  

(a) All legal rights to tangible property collected or
16created during Delta research remain with the researcher, as
17determined by the policies of the organization providing the grant,
18contract, or other agreement specifying the rights and obligations
19of the researcher, except as otherwise provided in that grant,
20contract, or agreement.

21(b) A researcher shall, as a member of the scientific and
22engineering community, make the tangible property specified in
23subdivision (a) appropriately available to other researchers.



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