Governor Signs Legislation Addressing Abandoned Commercial Vessels

The Governor has just signed into law AB 2441 [Frazier] that requires the State Lands Commission, upon receipt by the commission of funds appropriated by the Legislature and any federal or private funds for this purpose, in consultation with other relevant state and local agencies directly involved in the removal of abandoned vessels, by July 1, 2019, to develop a plan for the removal of abandoned commercial vessels.

RBOC supports the concept of the measure to address abandoned commercial watercraft in the Delta without targeting the recreational boater-derived funds for commercial vessels.

The organization was engaged as the measure moved forward and was amended, testifying and advocating to ensure that recreational boaters were not assessed financially for efforts to address commercial vessels.

Assembly Fiscal Committee Considers Legislation Addressing Abandoned Commercial Vessels

AB 2441 [Frazier] was taken up in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today and as anticipated was placed "on suspense" due to its projected state costs.

AB 2441 is the measure that would require rental income received from surface uses of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta lands under the jurisdiction of the State Lands Commission to be used for the removal of commercial abandoned and derelict vessels.

As also discussed in the analysis of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, the bill would:

  • Require the SLC to develop a plan that prioritizes removal based on risk to the Delta.
  • Authorize the SLC to recover costs for removal actions.
  • Define the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to mean lands within the boundaries of the counties of Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo.

Today, the bill was placed “on suspense” as anticipated due to the projected state fiscal impact: “This bill annually shifts approximately $6.9 million General Fund to the SLC for removal of commercial ADVs in the Delta.”

The committee will decide will know just prior to the Memorial Day Weekend whether this and the numerous other measures place on suspense will pass through the Appropriations Committee an on to the Floor for consideration.

RBOC’s position on AB 2441 is in support of the concept of the measure to address abandoned commercial watercraft in the Delta, and it is closely monitoring the measure to ensure that recreational boaters are not assessed financially for efforts to address commercial vessels.

RBOC-supported Marine Debris Legislation Passes Senate Committee

RBOC-supported AB 1323 [Frazier, D-Oakley] to enhance the removal of marine debris from the state's waterways will pass the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water following today's hearing in the Capitol. The measure next proceeds to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

RBOC President Greg Gibeson testified in support of the legislation that has been drafted by the State Lands Commission and is supported by a number of boating industry groups and others.

This legislation would provide authority for any state, county, city, or other public agency having jurisdiction over a given location, or having authority to remove marine debris or solid waste, to remove and destroy marine debris that is floating, sunk, partially sunk, or beached in or on a public waterway, beach, or on state tidelands or submerged lands, subject to specific conditions:

  1. The marine debris meets the definition provided in the Harbors and Navigation Code and the value of the debris does not exceed the cost of removal and disposal.
  2. If the debris cannot be identified belonging to an individual, a peace officer or authorized public employee securely attaches to the marine debris a notice stating that the marine debris shall be removed by the public agency if not claimed or removed within 10 days.
  3. If the debris can be identified as belonging to an individual, a 10-day notice is attached to the marine debris, and sent to the owner of the marine debris, if known, at the owner's address of record with the Department of Motor Vehicles, by certified or first-class mail. 
  4. The marine debris is not removed prior to the ten day notification period.