December 06, 2019 Meeting Highlights

The Commission held its December public meeting in Sacramento, California.

Martinez Marine Oil Terminal Wharf

Earlier this year, Shell Oil sold its Martinez, California refinery in the Carquinez Strait to PBF Energy. The marine oil terminal wharf associated with the refinery is under lease with the Commission. In connection with the sale, the Commission assigned Shell Oil’s existing lease to the Martinez Refining Company LLC (the sale agreement assigned all of Shell’s lease obligations to Martinez Refining Company LLC).  The Commission also amended the lease to increase the security from $2 to $15 million and to add a 5-year Consumer Price Index adjustment. Other lease amendments include a requirement that the lessee hire an engineering firm to assess decommissioning and site restoration costs, authorization for the Commission to accept a corporate guaranty by PBF Energy, the lessee’s parent company, and a requirement that security sufficiency is assessed in ten years to ensure the bond and other security are commensurate to the eventual decommissioning and site restoration.

Resolution Calling on the Federal Government to Act on Tijuana River Valley Pollution

One of the Commission’s primary goals during the past year has been to find solutions to the transboundary pollution sullying Southern California’s Public Trust lands and resources. Last Tuesday, before the Commission meeting, several agencies and cities came together to support a resolution recommending actions for the federal government to take to eliminate transboundary flows in the Tijuana River Valley. The Commission adopted the resolution at its December meeting. In the coming weeks, other city councils and boards will adopt this resolution. This broad show of support reflects the shared commitment among state and local stakeholders to push for federal action on the ongoing pollution crisis.

The resolution identifies urgent actions needed from the federal level to address underlying causes of the sewage, sediment, and trash that have contaminated Public Trust lands, resources and waterways for decades. The resolution requests that the federal government allocate funding to the U.S. EPA to carry out already identified capital projects; restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Tijuana River Valley; and authorize and direct the U.S. EPA and the International Boundary and Water Commission to cooperate and expeditiously execute projects.

CalTrans/Highway 395 Widening and Improvement Project / Indigenous People

The Commission approved the sale of 17.13 acres of school lands in Inyo County to Caltrans for the U.S. Highway 395 project. The sale is contingent on Caltrans depositing additional monies into the School Land Bank Fund. The monies will be used to pay for roughly 45 acres of land that the Commission will transfer to a local tribe—the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation—whose ancestral territory encompasses the project area.  The land transfer, the result of extensive collaboration with tribal representatives, is consistent with the Commission’s Environmental Justice Policy and honors California’s native communities and ancestors.

Environmental Justice

The Environmental Justice Policy the Commission adopted in December 2018 is bold and transformative.  Staff updated the Commission on its year-one progress with implementing the new Policy. Key progress areas include interagency coordination, staff-wide training, directed workshops, and empowering staff to conduct meaningful community outreach and engagement.  The staff presentation encapsulated a body of work the Commission is incredibly proud of and eager to continue.

Government Alliance on Race and Equity

The Government Alliance on Race and Equity, known as GARE, is a national network of governments working to advance racial equity.  In 2018 and 2019, GARE, in partnership with the Health and All Policies Task Force, Race Forward, and the Public Health Institute, brought together twelve state agencies, including the State Lands Commission, to participate in the first Capitol Cohort. Teams had about 15 employees representing their departments and participated in a 100-hour curriculum and contributed to the development of a Racial Equity Action Plan tailored to their department’s needs. Staff presented an informational update about the Commission’s past two years participating in GARE, including staff reflections, challenges, successes, and next steps.

Other Highlights

Item # 16 (The Town of Crockett). The Commission approved a short term lease related to the shuttered Nantucket Restaurant in the town of Crockett, Contra Costa County. The lease, issued to the Nantucket Revitalization LLC, will ensure site maintenance, security, and public access. This action also supports the lessee’s long-term vision to rehabilitate the Nantucket restaurant and make the site a regional destination.

Item # 22 (Broad Beach, Malibu). The Commission amended a lease to the Broad Beach Geological Hazard Abatement District involving a revetment shoreline protective structure, beach nourishment activities, and the creation of a dune habitat area in Broad Beach. The lease amendment extends the grace period to account for unanticipated developments that have occurred since 2016 when the Commission issued the lease.

Item # 46 (Strategic Plan). The Commission authorized the Executive Officer to retain a consultant to develop its next strategic plan and a public engagement process associated with that. This action positions the Commission to successfully craft a new strategic plan in 2020 in partnership with the communities it serves.

Items # 47 and 55 (Board of Forestry/Forested School Lands). The Commission owns roughly 55,000 acres of forested school lands. The Executive Officer of the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, Matt Dias, briefed the Commission on its Vegetation Treatment Program. This briefing dovetailed with item # 47, which authorized the Commission’s Executive Officer to retain a consultant to inventory its forested school lands and prepare a forest management plan.

The Commission’s first meeting of 2020 is being scheduled for early February. Additional Information, including the location, agenda, and staff reports, will be posted on our website as they become available.