Information provided by the Office of State Assemblyman Robert Rivas.
On Sept. 13, the California State Legislature passed AB 936, authored by State Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister). According to a release from Rivas’ office, the bill improves the state’s preparedness to protect people and communities from a potential spill of nonfloating oil.
“It is essential that we do everything we can as a state to protect our marine life, waterways, and public health from any potential oil spills,” Rivas said. “Nonfloating oil spills pose unique challenges, as this type of oil tends to sink to the bottom of our oceans and lakes, and can require specialized techniques and equipment for cleanup.”
According to the release, AB 936 enhances oil transportation safety in California by defining nonfloating oil in statute and ensuring that safety standards are regularly updated to incorporate the best possible tools for clean-up. The bill also enhances the collection of information on nonfloating oil moving through California, by requiring the state energy commission to collect and publish data concerning movements of crude oil by rail car and vessel.
“Since the first major coastal oil spill decades ago, California has developed a strong response system, a system that has had to be updated as factors change,” said former California Secretary of Natural Resources and former Assemblyman John Laird in the release. “Assemblymember Robert Rivas has identified the differences in a spill that could be caused by newer, heavier forms of oil, and has crafted good legislation to keep our response system current to those heavier types of oil. I am pleased to support this bill.”
The bill now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom for consideration.