BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Fran Pavley, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:            AB 2616         Hearing Date:    June 28,  
          |Author:    |Burke                  |           |                 |
          |Version:   |May 31, 2016                                         |
          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
          |Consultant:|William Craven                                       |
          |           |                                                     |
           Subject:  California Coastal Commission:  environmental justice

          1.  Pursuant to the Coastal Act: 

             a)   Establishes the Commission in the Natural Resources  
               Agency and requires the Commission to consist of 15 members  
               (3 non-voting and 12 voting). 

             b)   Requires the membership of the Commission include six  
               members of the public at large and six from local  
               governments representatives from six coastal regions. 

             c)   Provides that the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly,  
               and Senate Rules Committee each appoint four of the  

             d)   Requires the Governor, the Senate Committee on Rules,  
               and the Speaker of the Assembly to make good faith efforts  
               to assure that their appointments, as a whole, reflect, to  
               the greatest extent feasible, the economic, social, and  
               geographic diversity of the state.
             e)   Requires a person planning to perform or undertake any  
               development in the coastal zone to obtain a coastal  
               development permit (CDP) from the Commission or local  
               government enforcing a Local Coastal Program (LCP). 

             f)   Defines "development" to mean, among other things, the  


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               placement or erection of any solid material or structure on  
               land or in water. "Structure" includes, but is not limited  
               to, any building, road, pipe, flume, conduit, siphon,  
               aqueduct, telephone line, and electrical power transmission  
               and distribution line.
             g)   Defines the "coastal zone" as the land and water area of  
               the State of California from the Oregon border to the  
               border of the Republic of Mexico, extending seaward to the  
               state's outer limit of jurisdiction, including all offshore  
               islands, and extending inland generally 1,000 yards from  
               the mean high tide line of the sea. In significant coastal  
               estuarine, habitat, and recreational areas, the coastal  
               zone extends inland to the first major ridgeline  
               paralleling the sea or five miles from the mean high tide  
               line of the sea, whichever is less. In developed urban  
               areas, the zone generally extends inland less than 1,000  
               yards. The coastal zone does not include the area of  
               jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and  
               Development Commission, nor any area contiguous thereto,  
               including any river, stream, tributary, creek, or flood  
               control or drainage channel flowing into such area. 

          2) The Government Code defines "environmental justice" to mean  
          the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes  
          with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and  
          enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. 

          PROPOSED LAW
          This bill would add three new members to the Commission to  
          represent environmental justice communities. It also allows, but  
          does not require, the Commission, when acting on a coastal  
          development permit to consider environmental justice and the  
          equitable distribution of environmental benefits throughout the  

          According to the author, the bill gives a voice to the  
          environmental justice community by adding three new  
          environmental justice members and provides the Commission the  
          ability to consider environmental justice issues when making  
          decisions regarding the California coast. She believes that the  
          bill is consistent with a recent law that added additional  
          environmental justice representatives to the California Air  


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          Resources Control Board and a pending proposal to add  
          representation to the South Coast Air Quality Management Board. 

          An environmental/social justice coalition has adopted a support  
          if amended position that seeks to strengthen the civil rights  
          language in the bill but expressed a lack of support over the  
          proposal to add three new members. It would like a public  
          process to ensure that the environmental justice appointees  
          represent impacted communities. It is also concerned by the  
          recent action of the Coastal Commission to suggest an amendment  
          to this bill that the three new members are elected  
          officials-and not public members--who may or may not adequately  
          represent disadvantaged communities. 

          Opposition arguments raise several considerations: (1) Expanding  
          the size of the commission may or may not result in improved  
          consideration of environmental justice considerations; (2) that  
          the 12-member commission currently comprises 4 people of color,  
          two LGBT members, and a majority of 7 women, which suggests that  
          representatives of underserved communities are currently  

          As an alternative to three new members, the California State  
          Association of Counties suggests one environmental justice  
          advisory member. 

          The County of Santa Barbara believes that environmental justice  
          should be handled by the commission currently and does not  
          support adding new commissioners for the specific purposes that  
          the Commission should be handling already. 

          1.  Environmental Justice. 
          According to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard  
          Assessment, approximately 8 million Californians (21%) live in  
          zip codes that are 
          considered "highly impacted" by environmental, public health,  
          and                      socioeconomic stressors. Nearly half of  
          all Californians live within six miles of a facility that is a  
          significant greenhouse gas emitter (46%), and they are  
          disproportionately people of color (62%). Throughout California,  
          people of color          face a 50% higher risk of cancer from  
          ambient concentrations of air pollutants     listed under the  


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          Clean Air Act. These impacts affect all Californians. The Air  
          Resources Board (ARB) estimates that air pollution exposure  
          accounts for             19,000 premature deaths, 280,000 cases  
          of asthma, and 1.9 million lost work    days every year.

          2.  Discussions with the author and the Committee resulted in a  
          potential mechanism to achieve environmental justice  
          representation within the existing structure of 12 members as  
          well as to strengthen the environmental justice language in the  

          Each of the appointing authorities (Speaker, Senate Rules,  
          Governor) has 4 appointees consisting of two public appointments  
          and two appointees from local government. 

          The amendment would provide that one of the four, from each of  
          the appointing authorities, must represent disadvantaged  
          communities. The statutory balance of 6 public members and 6  
          local government members would not be altered. 

          The appointing authorities would have to decide which of their  
          appointees would represent disadvantaged communities and the  
          timing of that appointment. The amendment would not require that  
          any current commissioners be removed. (Amendment 1) 

          The Committee recommends that the environmental justice members  
          actually reside in the communities they represent on the  
          commission, and have a demonstrated commitment to environmental  
          justice. (Amendment 2)

          Additionally, the Committee and the author have discussed adding  
          a cross-reference from the Civil Rights Act (Government Code  
          section 11135(a) or another appropriate cross-reference) so that  
          the statutory link between environmental justice and the Coastal  
          Act is made crystal clear and would therefore become an  
          obligation of all commissioners to uphold. (Amendment 3). 

          It should also be stated that these amendments do not affect the  
          discretion of an appointing authority to increase the  
          representation from disadvantaged communities or from  
          communities historically disproportionately affected by  
          environmental impacts. 


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          AMENDMENT 1
               Provide that one of the four appointees by each appointing  
               authority represents disadvantaged communities on a  
               selection schedule determined by each appointing authority.  

          AMENDMENT 2
               Provide that each appointee pursuant to Amendment 1 reside  
               in a disadvantaged community or a community historically  
               disproportionately affected by environmental impacts, and  
               that each appointee has demonstrated a commitment to  
               environmental justice. 

          AMENDMENT 3
               Add appropriate cross-reference to the Civil Rights Act. 

          All are support if amended: 
          Audubon California
          California Coastal Commission
          California Coastal Protection Network
          California League of Conservation Voters
          Courage Campaign
          Environment California
          Sierra Club California
          Trust for Public Land

          California State Association of Counties
          Committee for Green Foothills
          County of Santa Barbara
          San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

                                      -- END --


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