Bill Text: CA SB496 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Flood control: water development projects: Pajaro River.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-06-10 - Referred to Com. on W.,P., & W. [SB496 Detail]

Download: California-2021-SB496-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  March 05, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 496


Introduced by Senator Laird
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Robert Rivas and Stone)

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 8100 12585.7 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 496, as amended, Laird. Flood control: counties. water development projects: Pajaro River.
Existing law provides for state cooperation with the federal government in the construction of specified flood control projects. For certain flood control projects authorized on or after January 1, 2002, or for which specified findings have been made on or after that date, existing law requires the state to pay 50% of specified nonfederal costs. Existing law authorizes the state to pay up to 70% of those nonfederal costs upon the recommendation of the Department of Water Resources or the Central Valley Flood Protection Board if either entity determines that the project will advance one of several objectives.
Existing law authorizes the state to provide the above-described funds to the Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz, or to local agencies in those counties, for the project for flood control on the Pajaro River in the Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz, as specified.
This bill would authorize the state to provide up to 100% of the specified nonfederal costs to the Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz, or to local agencies in those counties, for the project for flood control on the Pajaro River in the Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz.

Existing law relating to flood control in counties authorizes the board of supervisors of a county to appropriate and spend money from the general fund of the county for any of specified flood control purposes in connection with streams or rivers in the county.

This bill would authorize the board of supervisors of a county to appropriate and spend money from the general fund of the county for the reuse of flood waters in connection with streams or rivers in the county.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Pajaro River Federal Flood Control Project was built in 1949 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and is maintained jointly by the Santa Cruz County Flood Control and Water Conservation District – Zone 7 and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency.
(b) Since construction of the levee system in 1949, there have been four major floods on the Pajaro River and its tributaries in 1955, 1958, 1995, and 1998 that have resulted in significant inundation and damage caused by overtopping or breaching of the levees. A 1963 report by the Corps concluded that the levee system was “inadequate,” and Congress authorized reconstruction of the Pajaro River levee system in 1966 through the Flood Control Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-789). Reauthorization was granted by the Water Resources Development Act of 1990.
(c) Section 12687.5 of the Water Code authorized the state to provide subvention funds to the Pajaro River project in 2006, in accordance with Section 12585.7 of the Water Code. Section 12687.5 was amended with the passage of Assembly Bill 489 in September of 2019. Specifically, the amendment allows the state to provide subvention funds in accordance with Section 12585.7 to be used for planning, engineering, designing, and constructing the project in the absence of federal funding in an amount that would be the equivalent state share if there was federal project funding.
(d) Levels of flood protection along the Pajaro River system are among the lowest of any federal flood control project in California. Recent Corps analysis shows the levees provides only five-year protection along the Pajaro River and seven-year protection along two Pajaro tributaries. Poor levee strength further reduces this expected performance.
(e) Existing state transportation facilities that cross tributary channels, specifically the State Highway 129 and 152 bridges at Salsipuedes Creek, within the Pajaro River project envelope can only safely convey 10-year to 25-year floods.
(f) Floods in 1995 caused more than $95,000,000 in damage and the loss of life of two people, with additional damage in 1997 and 1998 as well as the displacement of hundreds of residents. Levees nearly broke again in the federally declared storm disasters of January and February of 2017.
(g) The Pajaro River forms the boundary between the Counties of Santa Cruz and Monterey, coursing through the agricultural lowlands of the lower Pajaro Valley and straddled by an urban area in each county, the City of Watsonville in the County of Santa Cruz and the Town of Pajaro in the County of Monterey. The City of Watsonville is a state-designated disadvantaged community, while the Town of Pajaro is a state-designated severely disadvantaged community. The Pajaro River project will provide 100-year flood protection for both communities. For these areas, the per-capita income is less than one-half of the state and national averages.
(h) The Pajaro River project also impacts some of the most productive farmland in the world; agriculture is a $750,000,000 to $1,000,000,000 per year industry in the Pajaro Valley. The Watsonville-Salinas agricultural region produces twice as many strawberries as any other area in California, and California produces nearly 80 percent of the nation’s strawberries. Strawberries are California’s fourth highest-grossing agricultural commodity, producing $3,100,000,000 in annual revenue.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12585.7 of the Water Code is amended to read:

12585.7.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 12639), or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12800), the following requirements apply to projects authorized by the Legislature on or after January 1, 2002, and to small flood management projects authorized by Section 12750 for which the department makes the findings required by Section 12750.1 on or after January 1, 2002.
(a) The state shall pay 50 percent of the nonfederal capital costs required by Section 2213 of Title 33 of the United States Code.
(b) The state shall pay 50 percent of the nonfederal capital costs of fish, wildlife, and recreation mitigation.
(c) The state shall pay 50 percent of the nonfederal planning and engineering costs required by Section 2215(b) of Title 33 of the United States Code and the nonfederal design costs required by Section 2215(c) of Title 33 of the United States Code.
(d) The state share of the nonfederal capital costs authorized in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) may be increased by up to an additional 20 percent, to a maximum of 70 percent, upon the recommendation of the department or the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, if either entity determines that the project will result in a significant contribution to any of the following objectives:
(1) Protects, creates, enhances, or provides opportunities for enhancement of endangered species, riparian, aquatic, terrestrial, or other important habitats.
(2) Protects or enhances open space.
(3) Develops or enhances recreational opportunities that include, but shall not be limited to, picnic areas, foot and bike paths, and provides public access to all or nearly all of the project works, except those areas where public access would constitute a threat to public safety or habitat or would constitute a trespass on private property.
(4) Increases the level of flood protection for disadvantaged communities, as defined in Section 79505.5.
(5) Increases the level of flood protection for state transportation facilities or state water supply facilities.
(e) (1) The department or Central Valley Flood Protection Board shall include their recommendations with regard to increased cost sharing in the report prepared pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 12582.7, if so prepared, or in any addendum to that report.
(2) The department or Central Valley Flood Protection Board shall determine whether the project will result in a significant contribution to the prescribed objectives based upon substantial evidence in the record. The department shall develop, by regulation pursuant to Section 12601, criteria for making the determinations as to whether projects will make significant contributions to the objectives described in subdivision (d).
(f) The state payments under subdivisions (a) and (b) (a) and (b), and paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (g), are subject to Section 12585.1. State payments under subdivision (c) and paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) are not subject to Section 12585.1.
(g) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), the state is authorized to pay up to 100 percent of the following costs for the flood control project on the Pajaro River in the Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz, authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-789), pursuant to Section 12687.5:
(1) The nonfederal capital costs required by Section 2213 of Title 33 of the United States Code.
(2) The nonfederal capital costs of fish, wildlife, and recreation mitigation.
(3) The nonfederal planning and engineering costs required by Section 2215(b) of Title 33 of the United States Code and the nonfederal design costs required by Section 2215(c) of Title 33 of the United States Code.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique need to improve flood control on the Pajaro River located in the Counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz as described in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 1.Section 8100 of the Water Code is amended to read:
8100.

Under such limitations and restrictions as are prescribed by law, and in addition to jurisdiction and powers otherwise conferred, the boards of supervisors, in their respective counties, may appropriate and expend money from the general fund of the county for any of the following purposes in connection with streams or rivers in the county:

(a)The construction of works, improvements, levees or check dams to prevent overflow and flooding.

(b)The protection and reforestation of watersheds.

(c)The conservation and reuse of the flood waters.

(d)The making of all surveys, maps and plats necessary to carry out any work, construction or improvement authorized by this article.

(e)The carrying out of any work, construction or improvement authorized by this article outside the county if the rivers or streams affected flow in or through more than one county.

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