California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2092


Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier

February 17, 2016


An act to amend Section 525 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, relating to vessels.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 2092, as introduced, Frazier. Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund: grants.

Existing law makes it an infraction punishable by a maximum $3,000 fine, and a minimum $1000 fine, for a person to abandon a vessel upon a public waterway or public or private property without the express or implied consent of the owner or person in lawful possession or control of the property, except for the urgent and immediate concern for the safety of those aboard the vessel. Existing law requires 80% of those fines imposed and collected to be deposited in the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund, and used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for grants to local agencies for, among other purposes, removal as a public nuisance of abandoned vessels. Existing law prohibits the grants from being used for abatement, removal, storage, or disposal of commercial vessels.

This bill would delete that prohibition and thereby authorize grants to be used for abatement, removal, storage, or disposal of commercial vessels.

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

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

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SECTION 1.  

Section 525 of the Harbors and Navigation Code
2 is amended to read:

3

525.  

(a) Except for the urgent and immediate concern for the
4safety of those aboard a vessel, a person shall not abandon a vessel
5upon a public waterway or public or private property without the
6express or implied consent of the owner or person in lawful
7possession or control of the property.

8(b) The abandonment of a vessel in a manner as provided in
9subdivision (a) is prima facie evidence that the last registered
10owner of record, not having notified the appropriate registration
11or documenting agency of any relinquishment of title or interest
12therein, is responsible for the abandonment and is thereby liable
13for the cost of the removal and disposition of the vessel.

14(c) A violation of this section is an infraction and shall be
15punished by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000),
16nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000). In addition, the
17court may order the defendant to pay to the agency that removes
18and disposes of the vessel the actual costs incurred by the agency
19for that removal and disposition.

20(d) Fines imposed and collected pursuant to this section shall
21be allocated as follows:

22(1) (A) Eighty percent of the moneys shall be deposited in the
23Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund, which is hereby created
24as a special fund. Moneys in the fund shall be used exclusively,
25upon appropriation by the Legislature, for grants to be awarded
26by thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert divisionend insert to local agencies for the abatement,
27removal, storage, and disposal as public nuisances of any
28abandoned property as described in Section 522 or for the disposal
29of surrendered vessels as defined in Section 526.1, wrecked or
30dismantled vessels, or parts thereof, or any other partially
31submerged objects that pose a substantial hazard to navigation,
32from navigable waterways or adjacent public property, or private
33property with the landowner’s consent.begin delete These grants shall not be
34utilized for abatement, removal, storage, or disposal of commercial
35vessels.end delete

36(B) In evaluating a grant request submitted by a local agency
37pursuant to subparagraph (A), thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert divisionend insert shall place
38great weight on the following two factors:

P3    1(i) The existence of an active local enforcement program to
2control and prevent the abandonment of watercraft within the local
3agency’s jurisdiction.

4(ii) The existence of a submerged navigational hazard abatement
5plan at the local level that provides for the control or abatement
6of water hazards, including, but not limited to, abandoned
7watercraft, wrecked watercraft, hazardous floating debris,
8submerged vessels and objects, and abandoned piers and pilings.

9(C) A grant awarded by thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert divisionend insert pursuant to
10subparagraph (A) shall be matched by a 10-percent contribution
11from the local agency receiving the grant.

12(D) As a condition of receiving grant funding pursuant to this
13paragraph, a local agency shall report to thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert divisionend insert
14 data, as deemed appropriate by thebegin delete department,end deletebegin insert division,end insert regarding
15abandoned and surrendered vessels removed or anticipated for
16removal pursuant to this article.

17(2) Twenty percent shall be allocated as set forth in Section
181463.001 of the Penal Code.

19(e) The state shall not assume liability for any injuries or
20damages to a person or entity, public or private, connected to or
21resulting from the processing or disposal of a surrendered vessel,
22as defined in Section 526.1.

23(f) Thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert divisionend insert may adopt rules and regulations for
24the purpose of administering this section.



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