BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 530


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          530 (Rendon)


          As Amended  August 31, 2015


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 79-0 | (June 3,      |SENATE: | 39-1 | (September 2,   |
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          Original Committee Reference:  W., P., & W.


          SUMMARY:  Requires the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers  
          and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) to staff, and the Secretary of  
          the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) to appoint, a  
          working group that is tasked with developing a revitalization  
          plan for the lower Los Angeles River (Lower LA River).  


          The Senate amendments change from mandatory to voluntary  
          specified duties with respect to the Lower LA River working  
          group (Working Group) and revitalization plan and make other  
          clarifying changes as follows:


          1)Allows, but does not require, the Los Angeles County Board of  
            Supervisors to consult on formation of the Working Group;


          2)Allows, but does not require, other entities named in this  








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            bill to participate on the Working Group;


          3)Directs the CNRA Secretary to consider requests from local  
            agency representatives to participate on the Working Group.


          4)Clarifies that the scope of the revitalization plan is the  
            Lower LA River watershed.


          5)Allows, but does not require that the Lower LA River  
            revitalization plan be incorporated into the County of Los  
            Angeles Master Plan for the LA River (County Master Plan).


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Designates the LA River as a traditional navigable waterway  
            protected under the federal Clean Water Act. 


          2)Establishes the RMC in the CNRA, as a state agency with powers  
            that include, but are not limited to, the ability to acquire  
            and manage public lands within the Lower LA River and San  
            Gabriel River watersheds, and to provide open-space,  
            low-impact recreational and educational uses, water  
            conservation, watershed improvement, wildlife and habitat  
            restoration and protection, and watershed improvement within  
            the territory.


          3)Provides $30 million dollars in Proposition 1, the Water  
            Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014  
            (Prop. 1) for the RMC and another $100 million in Prop. 1 for  
            urban rivers and streams including, but not limited to, the LA  
            River and its tributaries as defined in the RMC Act and the  
            Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) Act, which covers  
            the upper LA River.










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          4)Creates the LA County Flood Control District (LACFCD) and  
            empowers it to control and conserve flood, storm and other  
            waste waters of the district; to protect the harbors,  
            waterways, public highways and property in the district from  
            flood waters or storm water damage; and, to allow public  
            access when such access is suitable for education and  
            recreational purposes and not inconsistent with flood control  
            and water conservation uses.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee:


          1)One-time costs estimated between $40,000 and $80,000 to the  
            General Fund or the Environmental License Plate Fund (special)  
            for the RMC to staff the Working Group.


          2)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.


          COMMENTS:  This bill would create a planning process for the  
          Lower LA River, the 19 miles of river that once it leaves  
          downtown Los Angeles flows through multiple cities until it  
          reaches the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach Harbor.  The LA River is  
          51 miles long.  Currently, the upper 32-mile stretch, which  
          reaches from the San Fernando Valley to downtown LA and lies  
          within the City of LA, has its own LA River Revitalization  
          Master Plan (City Master Plan) released in 2007.  The Lower LA  
          River does not have such a plan.


          In the late 1700s, the LA River supported diverse flora and  
          fauna and much of what is now southern and western Los Angeles  
          was marsh.  Devastating flooding in the 1930s led to the United  
          States Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) channelizing the  
          river with concrete as a control measure.  In the 1980s,  
          interest in revitalizing and re-integrating the river corridor  
          and its tributaries into the adjacent neighborhoods began to  








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          grow.  It was spurred in part by a recognition that compared to  
          other large American cities LA has relatively fewer parks,  
          particularly in underserved communities.  In the early 1990s,  
          community activism coincided with LA County beginning a process  
          that resulted in the 1996 County Master Plan.  The County 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.  


          In 2007 the LA City Council released the City Master Plan for  
          the river that promoted revitalization 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.  In 2010 the United States  
          Environmental Protection Agency designated the LA River as a  
          traditional navigable waterway protected under the Clean Water  
          Act and the Obama administration, under the America's Great  
          Outdoors initiative, made LA one of seven pilot cities for the  
          Urban Waters Federal Partnership.  


          The author states that there is not a revitalization plan  
          specific to the Lower LA River, although the County Master Plan  
          included a few projects for cities along the Lower LA River.   
          The author states that there is now a need for a comprehensive  
          revitalization plan that focuses more attention and resources on  
          the Southeast LA County cities which include Vernon, Commerce,  
          Maywood, Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, South Gate, Lynwood,  
          Compton, Paramount, Carson, and Long Beach.


          Supporters state that this bill starts a conversation about how  
          the entire LA River can be managed collaboratively as work on  
          the Lower LA River has lagged behind the upper parts of the  
          river.  Supporters state that there is now a need for a  
          comprehensive revitalization plan that focuses more attention  
          and resources on the Southeast LA County cities.


          There is no known opposition to this bill.








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          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Tina Leahy / W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096  FN:  
          0001784