BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 530|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
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                                   THIRD READING 

          Bill No:  AB 530
          Author:   Rendon (D), et al.
          Amended:  8/31/15 in Senate
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE:  9-0, 7/14/15
           AYES:  Pavley, Stone, Allen, Hertzberg, Hueso, Jackson,  
            Monning, Vidak, Wolk

           AYES:  Lara, Bates, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza, Nielsen

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  79-0, 6/3/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Lower Los Angeles River Working Group

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:   This bill establishes the Lower Los Angeles River  
          Working Group which will be responsible for developing a  
          revitalization plan for the Lower Los Angeles River (Lower  
          River) watershed and the communities through which it passes by  
          March 1, 2017.

          Existing law:

           1) Designates the Los Angeles River (River) as a traditional  
             navigable waterway protected under the Clean Water Act.

           2) Establishes the Los Angeles Flood Control District.  The  


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             Flood Control District and the US Army Corps of Engineers  
             (Corps) share the responsibility for the operation and  
             management of the River's flood control and water  
             conservation facilities.

           3) Establishes the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and  
             Mountains Conservancy (RMC).The RMC's mission is, among other  
             things, to preserve open space and habitat in order to  
             provide for low-impact recreation and educational uses,  
             wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and watershed  
             improvements within its jurisdiction.  The RMC's territory  
             includes the Lower River.

           4) Establishes the Water Quality, Supply, and infrastructure  
             Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1).  Proposition 1  
             includes $60 million for the River split equally between the  
             Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the RMC.  These funds  
             are for the purpose of multi-benefit water quality, water  
             supply, watershed protection and restoration projects for the  
             watersheds.  In addition, River projects are eligible for  
             certain other Proposition 1-funded purposes, such as the $100  
             million for urban rivers and streams.

          This bill:

           1) Directs the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency  
             (Secretary), in consultation with the Los Angeles County  
             Board of Supervisors, as specified, to appoint a local  
             working group, the Lower Los Angeles River Working Group  
             (working group), to develop a revitalization plan for the  
             Lower River watershed by March 1, 2017.

           2) Requires the Secretary to consider requests from local  
             agency representatives to participate in the working group.

           3) Specifies which organizations may be represented in the  
             working group including:

              a)    The RMC,
              b)    The County of Los Angeles,
              c)    The Gateway Cities Council of Governments,
              d)    The Los Angeles Gateway Region Integrated Regional  
                Water Management Joint Powers Authority,
              e)    Elected officials from cities riparian to the River,  


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              f)    Non-profit organizations serving the region.

           4) Specifies that the working group use watershed-based  
             planning methods to develop the revitalization plan.

           5) Specifies that the plan shall include watershed education  
             programs that help Lower River communities recognize the  
             value of the river, as specified, recognize the unique and  
             diverse needs of the these same communities and be consistent  
             with, enhance and may be incorporated into Los Angeles  
             County's Master Plan for the River.

           6) Directs the RMC to provide necessary staffing to the working  
             group for plan development.

           7) Provides the development and implementation of the plan will  
             be eligible for any public or private source of funding,  
             including, but not limited to, from Proposition 1, and  
             specifies eligible plan implementing entities.

           8) Declares the need for this special law.

           9) Makes a series of supporting legislative findings.

          The River forms from its headwaters in the western San Fernando  
          Valley and flows easterly across the Valley through Griffith  
          Park where the river turns to the south, and passes through  
          downtown Los Angeles and additional downstream cities en route  
          to its estuary in Long Beach.  The River is entirely with the  
          County of Los Angeles (County).

          The approximately 32 miles of the River upstream of the City of  
          Vernon is considered to be the upper River and is within the  
          bounds of the City of Los Angeles.  The approximately 19 miles  
          of the Lower River includes the Cities of Vernon, Commerce,  
          Maywood, Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, South Gate, Lynwood,  
          Compton, Paramount, Carson and Long Beach.

          The areas surrounding the River are widely considered to have  
          relatively few open space and park areas. Particularly along the  
          Lower River, industrial activity and railyards immediately  


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          adjacent to the River serve to isolate the River from the  
          surrounding communities.

          In the early 1990s, community activism over turning a railyard  
          adjacent to the River into open space coincided with the County  
          beginning a process that - after considerable input from  
          stakeholders and community outreach - resulted in the County's  
          Los Angeles River Master Plan in 1996.  The Master Plan  
          described how economic growth could be spurred along the River  
          in the County through zoning changes and the development of open  
          space, recreational, cultural, artistic, educational and other  
          opportunities.  Ultimately over several decades, the River will  
          be returned to a less-polluted, functioning riparian environment  
          in as many reaches as possible, while still controlling flooding  
          and providing recreational opportunities.

          The City of Los Angeles' Los Angeles River Revitalization Master  
          Plan was released in 2007.  Continuing the long-term goals of  
          the County's Master Plan, the Revitalization Master Plan also  
          promoted the revitalization of the River as a multi-benefit  
          solution to addressing and enhancing water quality and flood  
          control while enabling safe access to the River and restoring a  
          functional river ecosystem.  The City's Revitalization Master  
          Plan focused on the upper River.

          Both plans contain a list of River projects to be completed and  
          seek to re-focus the surrounding neighborhoods on the River to  
          help form a sense of identity, improve the quality of life and  
          boost civic pride.  Since the Master Plan and Revitalization  
          Master Plan were developed, numerous River restoration efforts  
          including the creation of habitat, pocket parks and bikeways  
          have been undertaken, as well as guidelines established for  
          signage and other features.  In recent years, stretches of the  
          River have been opened annually for kayaking and other  
          recreational activities.  These activities on the River itself  
          have received considerable media coverage and have been publicly  

          In 2014 the Corps recommended the most extensive restoration  
          alternative provided by its Los Angeles River Ecosystem  
          Restoration Feasibility Report be undertaken at an estimated  
          cost of $1.08 billion.  The area to be restored focuses on the  
          11 mile soft-bottomed stretch of the River from roughly Griffith  
          Park to downtown called the ARBOR reach. 


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          Working group membership.  There is overlap/potential overlap  
          between organizations represented on the working group and on  
          the RMC's board.  These include the County of Los Angeles, the  
          Gateway Cities Council of Governments, elected officials from  
          riparian cities, and the non-profit organization.  Membership of  
          the working group is not limited and there is evidence of  
          significant community interest in River revitalization efforts  
          (e.g. dozens of non-profit organizations listed as participating  
          in various revitalization planning efforts).

          Related/Prior Legislation
          SB 355 (Lara, 2015) revises the board membership of the RMC and  
          is currently in the Senate's Unfinished Business file.

          AB 1205 (Gomez, 2015) establishes the California River  
          Revitalization and Greenway Development Act which develops a  
          grant program to distribute auction revenues and Proposition 1  
          moneys, among others, to the benefit of rivers, as specified.   
          The bill was held on the Senate Appropriations Committee  
          Suspense file.

          AB 1251 (Gomez, 2015) establishes the Greenway Development and  
          Sustainment Act which, among other things, provides for greenway  
          easements. The bill is on the Senate Floor.  Assembly Member  
          Gomez had two earlier related bills (AB 1922 of 2014 and AB 735  
          of 2013) that both died.

          SB 1201 (de León, Chapter 212, Statutes of 2012) provides for  
          public use of the River by adding education and recreational  
          purposes to the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act where those  
          uses are not inconsistent with flood control and water  

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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

           One-time costs estimated between $40,000 and $80,000 to the  
            General Fund or the Environmental License Plate Fund (special)  


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            for the RMC to staff the working group.

           Cost pressures, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars  
            and possibly over a billion dollars, to the General Fund and  
            various special funds, to implement the plan.

          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/28/15)

          Anahuak Youth Sports Association
          Arroyo Seco Foundation
          Audobon California
          California Association of Local Conservation Corps
          California League of Conservation Voters
          California Trout
          California Watershed Network
          City of Bell
          City of Cudahy
          City of Lakewood
          City of Maywood
          City of Paramount
          Council for Watershed Health
          East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
          Friends of the Los Angeles River
          From Lot to Spot
          Gateway Cities Council of Governments
          Heal the Bay
          Linda T. Sanchez, Representative, U.S. Congress
          Los Angeles Community Garden Council
          Los Angeles Conservation Corps
          Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
          Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
          Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust
          Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation
          Mujeres de la Tierra
          Pacoima Beautiful
          T.R.U.S.T. South LA
          The Public Counsel
          The River Project
          The Trust for Public Land
          The Watershed Conservation Authority


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          Urban Semillas
          Water Replenishment District of Southern California

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/28/15)

          Department of Finance

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:   According to the author, "[t]he County  
          of Los Angeles adopted a Master Plan for the entire Los Angeles  
          River in 1996. Since then, the City of Los Angeles has done  
          substantial work on developing a "revitalization plan" for the  
          upper Los Angeles River, within the City's boundaries. After  
          almost two decades, the time has come to update the Master Plan,  
          focusing more attention and resources on the lower Los Angeles  

          This bill requires the appointment of "a local working group to  
          develop a "revitalization plan" for the lower Los Angeles River,  
          just as the upper Los Angeles River has its plan.  This  
          revitalization plan would be consistent with and designed to  
          enhance the County's Master Plan for the entire river."

          "AB 530 starts a conversation about how to improve the lower Los  
          Angeles River in concert with the revitalization of the upper  
          Los Angeles River, so that the entire Los Angeles River  
          watershed could be managed collaboratively."

          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:The Department of Finance "is opposed to  
          this bill because it is unnecessary."  The Department notes that  
          the RMC already coordinates with various private organizations  
          and public agencies at all levels of government, and that  
          several planning efforts are already underway.

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  79-0, 6/3/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang,  
            Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle,  
            Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina  
            Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez,  
            Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Holden,  
            Irwin, Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder,  
            Lopez, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina,  


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            Melendez, Mullin, Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen,  
            Patterson, Perea, Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez,  
            Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark Stone, Ting, Wagner, Waldron,  
            Weber, Wilk, Williams, Wood, Atkins
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Thurmond

          Prepared by:Katharine Moore / N.R. & W. / (916) 651-4116
          8/30/15 19:48:56

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