AB 530, as amended, Rendon. Lower Los Angeles River Working Group.
Existing law provides for the protection, enhancement, and restoration of rivers in this state. Existing law establishes the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy for the purpose of, among others, providing for the public’s enjoyment and enhancement of recreational and education experiences on public lands in the San Gabriel Watershed and Lower Los Angeles River.
This bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to appoint, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, a local working group to develop a revitalization plan for the Lower Los Angeles River, called the Lower Los Angeles River Working Group. The bill would specify a prescribed membership for the working group, including, among others, representatives from the County of Los Angeles, and elected officials of the cities riparian to the Los Angeles River. The bill would require, by March 1, 2017, the working group to develop, through watershed-based planning methods, a revitalization plan that addresses the unique and diverse needs of the Lower Los Angeles River, that is consistent with, enhances, and is incorporated into the County of Los Angeles’s Master Plan, and that includes watershed education programs. By imposing additional duties on local officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy to provide any necessary staffing to assist the working group.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Lower Los Angeles River.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the
3(a) The Los Angeles River has a complex ecological and
4political history. The river originally ran freely along an alluvial
5flood plain, which today is the City of Los Angeles. In the
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6 destructive flooding led the United States Army Corps of
7Engineers to design and build facilities to minimize the impacts
8of future floods, a process that included lining most of the river
9with concrete. Since then, the city,
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10government have all played a role in restoring the Los Angeles
11River, including the county’s 1996 adoption of a master plan for
12developing and restoring the entire Los Angeles River. The City
13of Los Angeles developed a “revitalization plan” to restore the
14Upper Los Angeles River, which lies within the city’s boundaries.
15Most recently, the Corps of Engineers approved “Alternative 20,”
16a substantial restoration and infrastructure project along the Upper
17Los Angeles River.
P3 1(b) The City of Los Angeles was given responsibility for
2managing the river’s resources through a charter by the King of
3Spain at the end of the 18th century. After serious floods in the
41930’s, the federal government, through the United States Army
5Corps of Engineers, stepped in to take responsibility for building
6and managing infrastructure projects to reduce the risk and damage
7from flooding, with the county as the local partner. The county
8also works with the city in managing the Upper Los Angeles River,
9where court decisions have held that the King of Spain’s charter
10gives the city “pueblo” water rights with authority to manage the
11Upper Los Angeles River’s resources. The courts have not given
12the city authority over the Lower Los Angeles River.
13(c) The State of California retains its sovereign authority to
14manage the rivers within its boundaries, including the Los Angeles
15River. Historically, however, it has not exercised that authority,
16due to the dominance of the federal Army Corps of Engineers in
17partnership with the county. The county’s master plan addresses
18the entire river but is close to two decades old, and would benefit
19from renewed attention to resources and development, especially
20on the lower river. The Lower Los Angeles River
begin delete hasend delete many cities, but not one begin delete city withend delete the
22responsibility and the resources to invest in restoration of that part
23of the Los Angeles River. There is therefore opportunity and need
24for the State to aid in the development and implementation of the
25county’s Master Plan, especially for the Lower Los Angeles River.
26(d) In 2014, California voters approved the Water Quality,
27Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, which
28included $60 million for the Los Angeles River, authorizing
29funding for both the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which
30has responsibility for the Upper Los Angeles River, and the San
31Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains
32Conservancy, which has responsibility for the Lower Los Angeles
33River. The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement
34Act of 2014 allocated $30 million to each conservancy for the
35purpose of multibenefit water quality, water supply, and watershed
36protection and restoration projects for the watersheds.
Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 32622) is added
38to Division 22.8 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
(a) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency
4shall appoint, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Board
5of Supervisors, a local working group to develop a revitalization
6plan for the Lower Los Angeles River, called the Lower Los
7Angeles River Working Group. The working group shall include,
8but need not be limited to, representatives from the conservancy,
9the County of Los Angeles, the Gateway Cities Council of
10Governments, the Los Angeles Gateway Region Integrated
11Regional Water Management Joint Powers Authority, elected
12officials of the cities riparian to the Los Angeles River, and
13non-profit organizations serving the Los Angeles River region.
or before March 1, 2017, the working group shall
15develop, through watershed-based planning methods, a
16revitalization plan that addresses the unique and diverse needs of
17the Lower Los Angeles River and the communities through which
18it passes. The plan shall be consistent with, enhance, and be
19incorporated into, the County of Los Angeles’s Master Plan for
20the entire Los Angeles River. The plan shall include watershed
21education programs that help the Los Angeles River communities
22recognize the value of the river and the importance of protecting
23the river’s watershed resources and its vitality to their communities.
24(c) The conservancy shall provide any necessary staffing to the
25working group to assist in the development of the plan.
26(d) The development and implementation of the
27plan may be eligible for funding from any public or private source,
28including, but not limited to, funding pursuant to Section 79735
29of the Water Code. Entities that are eligible to implement the
30revitalization plan include, but are not limited to, state agencies,
31local agencies, and non-profit organizations, and may be eligible
32for state funding.
The Legislature finds and declares that a special law
34is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable
35within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California
36Constitution because of the Lower Los Angeles River’s complex
37ecological and political history and the unique obstacles the local
38governments of the Lower Los Angeles River encounter when
39managing the river and its surrounding areas.
If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
2this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
3local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
4pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
54 of Title 2 of the Government Code.