April 7, 2023 Meeting Highlights

The staff reports and comment letters from our meeting are available on the Commission’s website. Here are the highlights from our meeting.

Aquatic Invasive Species Protection

The Commission took action to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species into marine waters by supporting H.R. 1452 by Representative Garamendi and AB 655 by Assemblymember Petrie-Norris. H.R. 1452 would require the US Coast Guard to release information about ballast water discharge systems to states when requested. This information is critical to support efforts to prevent aquatic invasive species introductions from shipping activity at California ports. AB 655 will prohibit the highly invasive species Caulerpa, protecting California’s coastal ecosystems and native seagrasses from this serious invasive alga. Both bills support the objectives of the Commission’s Marine Invasive Species Program.

The Unhoused on State-owned Sovereign or School Lands

The Commission authorized its Executive Officer to enter into cooperative agreements with cities, counties, and other state or local governments, departments, or entities to address situations and concerns related to the unhoused on state-owned sovereign or school lands. While these agreements will not solve the larger issues of homelessness, they should reduce the most severe impacts to the Public Trust and State Land resources in areas where the agreements are in place. The Commission’s efforts to collaborate with local governments, unhoused individuals, nearby residents and businesses, and others, demonstrate its commitment to inviting their viewpoints and seeking solutions on these important issues affecting the state and nation.

Long Beach Unit Program and Annual Plan

The Commission reviewed two plans, called the Program Plan and Annual Plan, which inform the oil and gas operations at the Long Beach Unit in Los Angeles County. The Commission ordered the City of Long Beach to revise both plans to incorporate risk identification and analysis to provide the transparency necessary to evaluate the efficacy of current and future operations including, and as more fully described in our staff report: 1) SB 1137, Chapter 365, Statutes of 2022, which, among other things, establishes health protection zones that are 3,200 feet in all directions from a sensitive receptor; 2) CalGEM Injection Gradients; 3) Power Plant Operations; 4) Commodity Price Volatility; 5) Sea Level Rise considerations; 6) Environmental Justice concerns; 7) Well Abandonment Plans; 8) Make-Up Water Sources; 9) Analyze the social costs and impacts of oil extraction; 10) Public health impacts of oil production on local communities, including minority communities (such analysis to reflect collaboration between City and its local health department regarding this issue); and 11) Anticipated abandonment and decommissioning costs for the Long Beach Unit and the balance of the oil liability trust fund.

The City of Long Beach is required to incorporate the changes ordered by the Commission.

Future Meetings and Ways to Stay Informed

The Commission’s next meeting is on June 5 and will be a hybrid meeting with a virtual and in-person participation option. You can sign up on our website to receive updates about future Commission meetings. Another great way to stay informed is to follow the State Lands Commission on social media. You can also watch a webcast of the meeting on Cal-Span.org.