BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 582|
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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  SB 582
          Author:   Hall (D)
          Amended:  5/19/15  
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  7-0, 5/12/15
           AYES:  Jackson, Moorlach, Anderson, Hertzberg, Leno, Monning,  
            Wieckowski

           SUBJECT:   Electrified Fences


          SOURCE:    Electric Guard Dog, Inc.


          DIGEST:  This bill authorizes an owner of real property to  
          install and operate an electrified fence on his or her property  
          if the property is not in a residential zone, the fence meets  
          specified requirements, and a local ordinance does not prohibit  
          its installation and operation.


          ANALYSIS:   


          Existing law:


          1)Provides that no electrified fences shall be offered for sale,  
            sold, installed, or used in this state, or otherwise connected  
            to a source of electrical current, unless the electrical  
            current is limited and regulated by an electrical controller  
            which meets or exceeds the standards or specifications of the  








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            National Electrical Code of the National Fire Protection  
            Association, the New Zealand Standards Institute, the  
            Standards Association of Australia, or the Underwriters  
            Laboratories for intermittent type electric fence or  
            electrified fence controllers.  (Food & Agr. Code Sec. 17152.)

          2)Provides that existing provisions of the Food and Agricultural  
            Code pertaining to electric fences shall not be construed to  
            preclude regulation of electrified fences by cities and  
            counties, including, but not limited to, requiring the  
            installation or use of electrified fences under permit, except  
            that such regulation shall not permit the installation or use  
            of electrified fences which do not conform to the requirements  
            of existing law.  (Food & Agr. Code Sec. 17153.)

          This bill:


          1)Provides that an owner of real property may install and  
            operate an electrified fence on his or her property consistent  
            with all of the following:

                 The property is not located in a residential zone; 

                 The fence meets the requirements specified by the  
               International Electrotechnical Commission for electric  
               fence energizers in "International Standard IEC  
               60335-2-76;" and

                 The fence is identified by prominently placed warning  
               signs that are legible from both sides of the fence.  At a  
               minimum, warning signs shall be placed at each gate and  
               access point, at intervals along the fence not exceeding 10  
               meters, and adjacent to any other signs relating to  
               chemical, radiological, or biological hazards.
           
           1)Provides that an owner of real property shall not install and  
            operate an electric fence where a local ordinance prohibits  
            that installation and operation.  If a local ordinance allows  
            the installation and operation of an electric fence, the  
            installation and operation of the electric fence shall meet  
            the requirements of the ordinance, as well as the requirements  
            listed above.








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          Background


          Generally speaking, an electric fence is a fence that has an  
          electrical charge that is designed or placed so that a person or  
          animal coming into contact with the fence receives an electric  
          shock.  It operates by sending a high voltage pulse of  
          electricity at regular intervals through conductive materials in  
          the fence.  Unlike other physical boundaries like barbed wire or  
          razor wire, commercial electric fences do not physically harm  
          things that come into contact with them.  Electric fences do not  
          cause physical harm to animals or people because the length of  
          electric shock delivered by the fence is very brief.  According  
          to one scholar:

            "[e]ven when the voltage is high, when the current flows for  
            only a very short duration we cannot be electrocuted. . . . A  
            large enough current can cause ventricular fibrillation,"  
            during which "the pumping action of the heart ceases and death  
            occurs within minutes unless treated.  In the United States,  
            approximately 1000 deaths per year occur in accidents that  
            involve cord-connected appliances in kitchens, bathrooms, and  
            other wet locations . . . shock durations longer than 1 second  
            are the most dangerous . . . [e]lectric security fences have  
            taken advantage of this fact by shortening their shock  
            duration to an even shorter duration of about 0.0003 seconds .  
            . . electric fences are safe and do not lead to ventricular  
            fibrillation due to the short 0.0003 second shock duration.   
            (John Webster, Safety of Electric Security Fences, University  
            of Wisconsin - Madison,  
             [as of May 8,  
            2015].)

          The sale of electric fences is currently prohibited in  
          California unless the electrical current is limited and  
          regulated by an electrical controller that meets or exceed  
          specified standards.  (Food & Agr. Code Sec. 17152.)  This bill  
          further codifies that a property owner may install and operate  
          an electrified fence if:  (1) the property is not in a  
          residential zone; (2) the fence meets requirements specified in  
          designated international standards, and (3) the fence is marked  
          at regular intervals with warning signs.  This bill specifies  
          that an owner would not be permitted to install and operate an  







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          electric fence where a local ordinance prohibits its  
          installation and operation.

          Comments


          According to the author:

            Many California-based companies that are in the cargo  
            transportation, inventory storage and containment shipping  
            business have, at any given time, millions of dollars worth of  
            products and service-related equipment on their premises.   
            Storage is often held overnight for several days or weeks  
            awaiting transport.  The primary protection of valuable goods  
            and equipment is a security fence, designed to prevent  
            criminal trespass and theft.  The installation of an electric  
            security fence in a jurisdiction is subject to permitting and  
            approval.  Current state law on the use and installation of an  
            electric security fence in non-agricultural zones is vague.   
            There is no consensus among local jurisdictions whether or not  
            they can allow the installation of electric security fences.

            SB 582 provides clear guidelines for the installation of  
            electric security fences, based on international standards  
            ensuring their safe and reliable installation in  
            non-residential zones.  Existing international standards  
            require the installation of a perimeter fence at least six  
            feet tall separating the public from the electrified fence.   
            Additionally, to ensure the safety of the public, warning  
            signs must be visibly posted in at least two languages  
            (English and Spanish) and access for emergency responders must  
            be available.  This bill helps the permitting process in local  
            ordinances by clarifying state law, and regulating the use and  
            installation of an electric security fence in non-residential  
            zones.

          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No


          SUPPORT:   (Verified5/12/15)


          Electric Guard Dog, Inc. (source)







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          ABF Freight System, Inc.
          Copart, Inc.
          Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
          SA Recycling LLC
          Saia LTL Freight
          YRC Worldwide, Inc.


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified5/12/15)


          None received


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     Copart, Inc. states that SB 582  
          clarifies the standards and installation protocols for electric  
          security fences in California, and provides guidance and clarity  
          that allows municipalities to permit the installation of  
          electric security fences within their jurisdictions.


           

          Prepared by:Tobias Halvarson / JUD. / (916) 651-4113
          5/19/15 13:09:54


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