BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ķ

                                                                    AB 2139

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          Date of Hearing:  April 18, 2016


                                 Das Williams, Chair

          AB 2139  
          (Williams) - As Amended March 28, 2016

          SUBJECT:  Ocean Protection Council:  ocean acidification

          SUMMARY:  Requires the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to  
          facilitate research and compile data on the causes and effects  
          of ocean acidification.  Requires, no later than January 1,  
          2018, OPC to adopt recommendations for further legislative and  
          executive actions to address ocean acidification. 

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Establishes the (OPC, which consists of the Secretary of  
            Natural Resources Agency (NRA), the Secretary for  
            Environmental Protection, the Chair of the State Lands  
            Commission, and two members of the public appointed by the  

          2)Requires OPC to support state agencies' use and sharing of  
            scientific and geospatial information for coastal- and  
            ocean-relevant decision making relating to coastal and ocean  
            ecosystems, including the effects of climate change.


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          3)Pursuant to Executive Order S-13-08 (Schwarzenegger), requires  
            NRA, through the Climate Action Team, to coordinate with  
            local, regional, state, federal, and private entities to  
            develop a state Climate Adaptation Strategy (strategy).   
            Requires the strategy to summarize the best known science on  
            climate change impacts to California, assess California's  
            vulnerability to the identified impacts, and outline solutions  
            that can be implemented within and across state agencies to  
            promote resiliency. 

          4)Pursuant to Executive Order B-30-15 (Brown), in addition to  
            establishing a 40% GHG emission reduction goal by 2030,  
            requires several actions on adaptation, including:

             a)   Requires NRA to update the strategy every three years  
               and ensure that its provisions are fully implemented.   
               Requires the strategy to:

               i)     Identify vulnerabilities to climate change by sector  
                 and region, including, at a minimum, the following  
                 sectors:  water, energy, transportation, public health,  
                 agriculture, emergency services, forestry, biodiversity  
                 and habitat, and ocean and coastal resources;

               ii)    Outline primary risks to residents, property,  
                 communities, and natural systems from these  
                 vulnerabilities, and identify priority actions needed to  
                 reduce these risks; and,

               iii)   Identify a lead agency or group of agencies to lead  
                 adaptation efforts in each sector.

             b)   Requires each sector lead to prepare an implementation  
               plan by September 2015 to outline the actions that will be  


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               taken as identified in the strategy, and report back on  
               those actions to the NRA.

             c)   Requires state agencies to take climate change into  
               account in their planning and investment decisions and  
               employ full life-cycle cost accounting to evaluate and  
               compare infrastructure investments and alternatives. 

             d)   Requires state agencies' planning and investment to be  
               guided by the principles of climate preparedness for  
               uncertain climate impacts, protective of vulnerable  
               populations, and prioritization of natural infrastructure  

             e)   Requires the state's Five-Year Infrastructure Plan to  
               take current and future climate change impacts into account  
               in all infrastructure projects.

             f)   Requires OPR to establish a technical, advisory group to  
               help state agencies incorporate climate change impacts into  
               planning and investment decisions.

             g)   Requires the state to continue its rigorous climate  
               change research program focused on understanding the  
               impacts of climate change and how best to prepare and adapt  
               to such impacts.

          5)Requires the NRA to update its climate adaptation strategy,  
            the Safeguarding California Plan (Plan), by July 1, 2017, and  
            every three years thereafter by coordinating adaption  


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            activities among lead state agencies in each sector.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          1)Ocean Acidification.  The ocean absorbs about a third of the  
            carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere each year  
            from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.   
            As the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increase, so do  
            the levels in the ocean.  This changes the chemistry of the  
            water and threatens marine ecosystems and coastal communities  
            dependent on the health of the sea.  Ocean acidification is  
            the lowering of the pH of the ocean and changing of the  
            ocean's chemistry, which can lead to low dissolved oxygen  
            water (hypoxia) in ocean ecosystems.  Ocean acidification will  
            likely have major impacts on the fisheries and aquaculture  
            industries in California.  It could also have a profound  
            effect on marine ecosystems leading to large-scale die-offs  
            and over the long-term reduced biodiversity. Record hot  
            temperatures in the Pacific Ocean caused by global warming and  
            a powerful El Niņo have fueled the worst coral bleaching event  
            ever seen in portions of Australia's famed Great Barrier Reef   
            According to the author's office, "Ocean acidification has  
            cost the oyster industry in the Pacific Northwest $110 million  
            and jeopardized 3,200 jobs." 

            The Plan includes a sector on Oceans and Coastal Resources and  
            Ecosystems.  That sector released a sector plan that discusses  
            ocean acidification, but there are no specific recommendations  
            for legislative or executive action.  On April 4, 2016, the  
            West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel  
            (Panel) released a synthesis of the current state of  
            scientific knowledge about ocean acidification and hypoxia in  
            California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.  The  


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            Panel's final report included what management options might be  
            used to address ocean acidification on the west coast.  This  
            bill would require OPC to develop California specific  
            recommendations on how the state can address ocean  

          2)Related legislation.

          SB 1363 (Monning) requires OPC, in coordination with the State  
          Coastal Conservancy, to establish and administer the Ocean  
          Acidification and Hypoxia Reduction Program. This bill is  
          awaiting hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.



          California Coastkeeper Alliance

          Center for Biological Diversity
          Natural Resources Defense Council
          Surfrider Foundation 


          None on file


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          Analysis Prepared by:Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. / (916) 319-2092