Wildfire Related Legislation in the 2019-2020 Session

AB 38 Relating to fire hardening improvements on property, and forms a JPA to administer a comprehensive wildfire mitigation and assistance program to encourage cost-effective structure hardening and facilitate vegetation management.

AB 75 (Budget) Provides $10,000,000 to support communities in their recovery from the Camp Fire, and $15,000,000 of additional relief to local agencies that have been affected by wildfires.

AB 111 (Budget) Creates the California Catastrophe Response Council, establishes the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety within the Natural Resources Agency, establishes the Wildfire Safety Division at the CPUC, establishes the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board, and appropriated over $50 million to the CPUC.  Chaptered.

AB 178 (Dahle) Exempts the solar requirement when rebuilding after a natural disaster (wildfire).

AB 394 (Obernolte) Exempts from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) an egress route project specifically recommended by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection Board that improves fire safety of an existing residential subdivision.

AB 430 (Gallagher) will authorize housing developments in eight designated cities (Biggs, Corning, Gridley, Live Oak, Orland, Oroville, Willows, and Yuba City) to utilize a streamlined ministerial approval process at the local level if they meet qualifying criteria.

AB 661 (McCarty) Requires a wildfire smoke air pollution emergency plan to serve as an informational source for local agencies and the public during an air pollution emergency caused by wildfire smoke.

AB 836 (Wicks) Creates a grant program to provide funding to retrofit ventilation systems to create a network of clean air centers to mitigate adverse health impacts due to wildfires and other smoke events.

AB 1054 (Holden) – creates the Wildfire Fund.  Chaptered.

AB 1144 (Friedman) – authorizes use of Self Generation Incentive Program (ratepayer funded) funds for energy storage and distributed energy resources for critical infrastructure in high fire threat areas.

AB 1516 improves defensible space requirements and compliance to protect homes and communities from wildfire by creating an ember-resistant zone within five feet of a structure.

AB 1699 (Levine) – prohibits an internet service provider from impairing or degrading internet service to identified first response agencies during an emergency.

AB 1816 (Daly) Requires insurers to provide a notice of non-renewal for a homeowner's insurance policy at least 75 days prior to the policy expiration date.

SB 46 (Jackson) – expands local public emergency warning systems.  Held in Senate Approps.

SB 70 (Nielsen) – requires an IOU, in its wildfire mitigation plan (WMP), to describe where and how it considered undergrounding in areas with high wildfire risk. 

SB 167 (Dodd) – requires the WMPs to include impacts of protocols for disabling reclosers and de-energizing portions of the electrical distribution system.

SB 209 (Dodd) – establishes the California Wildfire Warning Center.

SB 247 (Dodd) – requires the IOU to notify the Wildfire Safety Division when it has completed a substantial portion of its vegetation management requirements under its WMP and requires an audit of the work.

SB 560 (McGuire) – requires telephone service providers to provide contact points and persons to receive de-energization notifications and develop protocols for responding to outages.

SB 584 (Moorlach) – appropriates Greenhouse Gas Reduction funds for grants to help local jurisdiction with undergrounding projects.  Held in Senate Approps.

SB 632 (Galgiani) Requires the completion of review of the vegetation treatment program (VTP) as soon as practicably feasible, but by no later than February 1, 2020.

SB 670 (McGuire) – requires the Office of Emergency Services to adopt thresholds for a community isolation outage and develop notification requirements.

SB 774 (Stern) – requires the IOUs to identify locations where back-up electricity may provide increased distribution grid resiliency and requires the information to be included in the WMPs.  In Assembly U&E.