BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 2781 (Eduardo Garcia) - Supplemental environmental projects
          
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          |Version: April 7, 2016          |Policy Vote: E.Q. 6 - 1         |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 8, 2016    |Consultant: Narisha Bonakdar    |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 2781 requires each board, department, or office  
          (BDO) within the California Environmental Protection Agency  
          (CalEPA) with enforcement authority to ensure that at least 10  
          percent of enforcement penalties are spent on supplemental  
          environmental projects allocated to disadvantaged communities. 


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Redirection of at least 10 percent of penalty revenues from  
            various special funds administered by BDOs within the CalEPA.
           Unknown, likely minor, costs (various special funds), for each  
            BDO to track, report, and oversee SEPs. 


          Background:  Under existing law, penalties for violations of environmental  
          laws can be partially offset by a commitment to undertake a SEP.  
          Under CalEPA's recommended guidance on SEPs, released in 2003,  
          SEPs must improve, protect, or reduce risks to public health or  
          the environment at large. The enforcing agency is required to  







          AB 2781 (Eduardo Garcia)                               Page 1 of  
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          help shape the scope of the project prior to approval, though  
          the project must remain a voluntary action that the defendant is  
          not legally required to perform. There must also be a  
          relationship between the violation and the SEP. For example, the  
          SEP may remediate or reduce the environmental or public health  
          impacts of the violations. Various CalEPA BDOs have adopted  
          their own SEP policies since the release of the CalEPA  
          guidelines.


          Proposed Law:  
            This bill:


             1)   Requires each BDO within the CalEPA with enforcement  
               authority to ensure that at least 10 percent of enforcement  
               penalties are allocated to disadvantaged communities. 




             2)   Requires each BDO to submit to the CalEPA a list of  
               potential projects that may be undertaken to satisfy the  
               requirement above requirement.




             3)   Requires the CalEPA to compile the lists provided by the  
               BDOs into one list and post it on its website.




          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 1071 (Atkins, Chapter 585, Statutes of 2015)  
          required each board, department, and office within the CalEPA to  
          establish a policy on supplemental environmental projects that  
          benefits environmental justice communities.













          AB 2781 (Eduardo Garcia)                               Page 2 of  
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          Staff  
          Comments:  By requiring that at least 10 percent of penalty  
          revenue is spent on SEPs in disadvantaged communities, this bill  
          will result in decreased penalty revenues to various special  
          funds in the millions of dollars.  
          State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The SWRCB collected  
          between $10 million and $12 million per year for fiscal years  
          2012 through 2014. For that board, this bill would result in at  
          least a $1 million redirection of funds. 


          Impact on Air Pollution Control Fund. Currently, penalty monies  
          from air pollution violations are deposited in the Air Pollution  
          Control Fund and appropriated for programs that mitigate air  
          pollution-related impacts.  In 2014, the amount of penalties  
          totaled over $17 million. This bill would result in a loss of  
          about $1.7 million in revenue. Currently, there is pressure on  
          the Air Pollution Control Fund.  As such, this redirection could  
          result in reduced spending on air quality measures. 


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