September 28, 2022

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The home veterans

Here are California bills that would address wildfires, PG&E

4 min read

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Wildfires, utilities and how they intersect seem to be top of mind at the California State Capitol in this legislative session.Bills that were introduced have to make it through committees in both of the houses of the Legislature, the Assembly and the Senate. As such, this year’s bills have to pass and be out of their “house of origin” by May 27. As we approach that deadline one of the key committees is the Appropriations Committee, which deals with any bill or change that would have a fiscal impact on the state. (Video above: How to know when to evacuate a wildfire.) These are bills in front of Appropriations today that you should know about.AB 2070 – This bill would require an electrical utility (like PG&E or SoCal Edison) to notify a fire district 24 hours before “performing scheduled, nonemergency hot work, deploying a safety and infrastructure protection team or performing a prescribed or controlled burn within the district’s jurisdiction.” If they fail to do so they could face a $500 penalty. The bill initially included notification of a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” but it was removed in amendments.ACR 188 – This is a resolution, not a bill, but it would request that Cal ISO produce a report looking at the impact of expanded regional cooperation on California with other electrical utilities. This is looking at the sharing of energy between western states and trying to save consumers money. Assembly Member Holden introduced the bill.AB 2578 – This bill adds to the state’s Energy Commission’s duties by having them include, in their report every two years, the state’s electrical generation facilities’ use of carbon capture or storage. So the re-use of carbon or storage, say, underground, would have to be included in the report as well.AB 2705 – This bill by Assemblymember Quirk-Silva, would prohibit a city or county from approving a housing project in a so-called “very high fire hazard severity zone” unless the city or county finds it will meet the standards to mitigate fire risks. It would also require the State Fire Marshal to provide financial assistance to fire-harden 300,000 homes in high fire areas in the next three years…and 300,000 more the three years after that.AB 2322 – This bill by Assemblymember Wood would require the state fire marshal, prior to their next edition of building codes (set to be adopted Jan. 1, 2023) to research and authorize building standards for fire resistance based on occupancy risk categories in very high, high and moderate California fire severity zones.” The bill would also require the building commission to consider the standards proposed by the fire marshal.| RELATED | 2022 California Wildfire Preparedness Guide: What to know and how to stay safe

Wildfires, utilities and how they intersect seem to be top of mind at the California State Capitol in this legislative session.

Bills that were introduced have to make it through committees in both of the houses of the Legislature, the Assembly and the Senate. As such, this year’s bills have to pass and be out of their “house of origin” by May 27. As we approach that deadline one of the key committees is the Appropriations Committee, which deals with any bill or change that would have a fiscal impact on the state.

(Video above: How to know when to evacuate a wildfire.)

These are bills in front of Appropriations today that you should know about.

AB 2070 – This bill would require an electrical utility (like PG&E or SoCal Edison) to notify a fire district 24 hours before “performing scheduled, nonemergency hot work, deploying a safety and infrastructure protection team or performing a prescribed or controlled burn within the district’s jurisdiction.” If they fail to do so they could face a $500 penalty. The bill initially included notification of a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” but it was removed in amendments.

ACR 188 – This is a resolution, not a bill, but it would request that Cal ISO produce a report looking at the impact of expanded regional cooperation on California with other electrical utilities. This is looking at the sharing of energy between western states and trying to save consumers money. Assembly Member Holden introduced the bill.

AB 2578 – This bill adds to the state’s Energy Commission’s duties by having them include, in their report every two years, the state’s electrical generation facilities’ use of carbon capture or storage. So the re-use of carbon or storage, say, underground, would have to be included in the report as well.

AB 2705 – This bill by Assemblymember Quirk-Silva, would prohibit a city or county from approving a housing project in a so-called “very high fire hazard severity zone” unless the city or county finds it will meet the standards to mitigate fire risks. It would also require the State Fire Marshal to provide financial assistance to fire-harden 300,000 homes in high fire areas in the next three years…and 300,000 more the three years after that.

AB 2322 – This bill by Assemblymember Wood would require the state fire marshal, prior to their next edition of building codes (set to be adopted Jan. 1, 2023) to research and authorize building standards for fire resistance based on occupancy risk categories in very high, high and moderate California fire severity zones.” The bill would also require the building commission to consider the standards proposed by the fire marshal.

| RELATED | 2022 California Wildfire Preparedness Guide: What to know and how to stay safe

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