BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 501


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          501 (Levine)


          As Amended  January 25, 2016


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Water           |15-0 |Levine, Bigelow,      |                    |
          |                |     |Dahle, Dodd, Beth     |                    |
          |                |     |Gaines, Cristina      |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Gomez, Gray,  |                    |
          |                |     |Harper, Lopez,        |                    |
          |                |     |Mathis, Medina,       |                    |
          |                |     |Rendon,               |                    |
          |                |     |Ridley-Thomas,        |                    |
          |                |     |Williams              |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Judiciary       |10-0 |Mark Stone, Wagner,   |                    |
          |                |     |Alejo, Chau, Chiu,    |                    |
          |                |     |Gallagher,            |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |Cristina Garcia,      |                    |
          |                |     |Holden, Maienschein,  |                    |
          |                |     |O'Donnell             |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |








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          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Appropriations  |17-0 |Gomez, Bigelow,       |                    |
          |                |     |Bloom, Bonilla,       |                    |
          |                |     |Bonta, Calderon,      |                    |
          |                |     |Chang, Daly, Eggman,  |                    |
          |                |     |Gallagher, Eduardo    |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |     |Jones, Quirk, Wagner, |                    |
          |                |     |Weber, Wood           |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 


          SUMMARY:  Requires that state-funded environmental research in  
          the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary  
          (Delta) be shareable and made available to the Delta Science  
          Program.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Requires state-funded Delta research, as defined, to be  
            provided to the Delta Science Program with access to all  
            primary data created for conducting the research.


          2)Requires significant findings from Delta research to be  
            promptly prepared and submitted for publication, either by the  
            state funded recipient or by others as permitted and  
            encouraged by the recipient. 


          3)Specifies Delta research must be shared with other researchers  
            at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time.


          4)Encourages the sharing of primary data, metadata, and other  
            supporting materials created or gathered in the course of  
            conducting Delta research.









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          5)Prohibits the release of privileged or confidential  
            information except in a form that protects the privacy of  
            individuals and subjects involved.


          6)Requires implementation of a management plan as to how a  
            researcher will share research data and findings in a form  
            that is machine readable.


          7)States legislative intent that a Delta science researcher has  
            a responsibility to share results and findings with other  
            researchers for public benefit.  Further states that it is the  
            intent of the Legislature to provide the Delta Science Program  
            with authority to request data when it deems that such data is  
            relevant, but not to create an obligation or duty upon the  
            Delta Science program to request or manage data.   


          8)Requires a state agency that funds or participates in Delta  
            research to make it a condition of a Delta research grant that  
            the grantee implement a data management plan.


          9)Requires a state agency that funds or participates in Delta  
            research to adopt policies and programs to disseminate and  
            share Delta research results, unless the agency determines  
            that sufficient funds are not available for that purpose.   
            Authorizes these requirements to be met by an interagency  
            group including, but not necessarily limited to, the  
            Department of Water Resources, the State Water Resources  
            Control Board, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Delta  
            Stewardship Council, and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta  
            Conservancy, that adopts coordinated guidelines and standards  
            for Delta research.  Specifies that such guidelines are not  
            regulations for purposes of the Administrative Procedures Act.










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          10)Authorizes a state agency that funds or participates in Delta  
            research to accept funds, services, equipment, or grants to  
            further the purposes of this bill.


          11)Makes a researcher that does not substantially comply with  
            the requirements of this bill for data sharing within six  
            months of completing a Delta research project ineligible for  
            state funding until the researcher complies with the  
            requirements.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Establishes coequal goals for the Delta of providing a more  
            reliable water supply for California and protecting,  
            restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.  States the  
            coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and  
            enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource,  
            and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.


          2) Establishes a Delta Science Program with the mission of  
            providing the best possible scientific information to inform  
            water and environmental decision making in the Delta.  


          3)Establishes a Delta Independent Science Board of nationally  
            and internationally prominent scientists to evaluate the broad  
            range of scientific programs that support Delta adaptive  
            management.


          4)Requires the Delta Independent Science Board to choose a lead  
            scientist with an advanced degree in a field related to water  
            or ecosystem management, a strong record of publishing  
            peer-reviewed scientific research, and high-level management  
            experience to oversee implementation of the Delta Science  








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            Program.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, increased one-time contract and administrative costs  
          for the Delta Stewardship Council to develop and implement  
          guidelines to facilitate the sharing of Delta research.


          COMMENTS:  This bill seeks to foster communication and  
          transparency among Delta researchers and provide the Delta  
          Science Program with open access to research data. 


          California's laws for managing resources require that the best  
          available scientific information is used to inform decision  
          makers.  Perhaps nowhere is this more important or more  
          difficult than in the Delta, which is home to many historic  
          communities, farms, and businesses; the crossroads of  
          California's two largest surface water delivery projects, the  
          federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project; and  
          together with the Suisun Marsh a vibrant ecosystem that supports  
          more than 55 fish species and more than 750 plant and wildlife  
          species.


          The Delta Reform Act of 2009 (Act) created the Delta Stewardship  
          Council and tasked it with achieving the coequal goals for the  
          Delta of providing a more reliable water supply for California,  
          and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.   
          The Act requires the coequal goals to be achieved in a manner  
          that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational,  
          natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an  
          evolving place.  The Act also created the Delta Science Program  
          with the mission of providing the best possible scientific  
          information to inform water and environmental decision making in  
          the Delta.










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          In February 2015 the Environmental Data Summit Organizing  
          Committee, under the leadership of the Delta Science Program,  
          released a draft white paper entitled Enhancing the Vision for  
          Managing California's Environmental Information, which discussed  
          the need for shareable data to help inform Delta policy.  The  
          paper states that shared and accessible data with a clear  
          understanding of the accuracy and content of the information is  
          paramount to minimizing lawsuits and conflicts, advancing nimble  
          management and deepening public engagement.  


          The author of this bill states in support that by some estimates  
          there are over 100 different state, federal, local, and  
          non-governmental entities conducting scientific analyses in the  
          Delta.  The author intends for the sharing and transparency  
          requirements of this bill to increase collaborative and  
          integrated approaches to Delta science and to help ensure that  
          the best decisions are made to balance the Delta's needs.  Other  
          supporters state that, too often, data sets are either not  
          accessible or are accessible only in limited formats.  Those  
          supporters state that this bill takes a positive step forward to  
          make publicly-funded data accessible to the public and would  
          like to see the bill go farther and help ensure data  
          comparability, accessibility and usability.  There is no  
          registered opposition to this bill.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Diane Colborn / W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096     
                                                                  FN:  
          0002595














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